Innovations through particle accelerators

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Photograph of the gas jet monitor developed for the Large Hadron Collider.

Particle accelerators are used globally to help answer some of the biggest fundamental physics questions. They also drive the development of new medicines, treat cancer, and improve progress in chemistry and environmental sciences. Developing novel diagnostic solutions for accelerator and clinical facilities, increases their output, reliability and cost efficiency.

The transition of knowledge and research results into new products and technologies for the benefit of society requires the collaboration between the research base in universities and industry. Engineers, technicians and scientists work together across sectors and country borders to jointly develop novel technologies. These technologies can then find application in many areas in the economy.

Busy bees and might magnets

One such global collaboration took place recently in CERN, where a group of scientists joined forces to develop an accelerator technology which would help the world’s beekeepers, often found in small poor communities in countries like India and China, to catch honey launderers! Watch the film on YouTube! As an underpinning technology, particle accelerators enable fundamental research and bring about concrete solutions to such problems and consequently provide enormous benefits to society.

Liverpool is home to the pan-European QUASAR Group which has developed a range of accelerator applications with a focus on the medical sector and beam instrumentation. The QUASAR Group has also been working with mainstream and scientific media to raise awareness of the importance of accelerator research for science, society and industry.

In the Department of Physics in Liverpool, fundamental research drives our technology innovations and these in turn can benefit society in various ways. Our department has developed sensors and instrumentation for science experiments all around the world. Many of these technologies were successfully transferred to companies or have led to the setup of entirely new companies, such as D-Beam Ltd which specializes in advanced beam diagnostics. Researchers in the Liverpool Accelerator Physics QUASAR Group have been collaborating with D-Beam Ltd., commercialising R&D using state of the art technology from the upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. This has produced innovative product solutions for the accelerator, healthcare, and security sectors.

The QUASAR Group's Project T.E.A.M. is always interested in forging relationships and facilitate knowledge exchange with industry and relevant organizations. We organize industry-academia workshops to enable cross-sector collaboration such as the International Symposium and co-innovation workshop and the Healthcare Instrumentation workshop.

Cross sector collaboration enables us to work with industry and public sector organisations to support the commercialisation of our research outputs. Together we explore opportunities for proof of concept studies, pilot projects and ensure joint technology transfer projects are managed to completion and that are effectively implemented in an industry setting. The Project T.E.A.M. has the expertise to identify the most appropriate funding mechanism to suit the type and needs of our external partners. 

If you would like to find out more or have a project idea you would like to discuss, please get in touch with us!