QUASARs attend Cockcroft Institute Student Conference

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On the 20th October 2015 the annual Cockcroft Institute Student Conference took place. Around 40 students and representatives from three different universities associated with the Cockcroft Institute attended the event.

Among the participants was second year PhD student James Hunt. He gave a talk entitled 'Design and Optimization of a Next Generation Low Energy Antimatter Facility' in the morning, which began with an overview of the ELENA ring currently under construction at CERN. James then went on to deliver a comprehensive overview of beam dynamics studies that he and colleagues had carried out over the previous year. To conclude, he highlighted plans for future beam diagnostics studies on the ELENA ring, including implementation of code written at the Cockcroft Institute into the ELENA ring for beam quality measurements.

Second year PhD student Yelong Wei presented his talk entitled 'Investigations Into Grating-based Dielectric Laser-driven Accelerator (DLA)' in the afternoon session. In his talk, he included a short introduction for DLA and its working principle, and proceeded to present his own simulations for DLA so far. Finally, he explained the plan to carry out DLA experiments using electron bunches from the VELA facility at the Cockcroft Institute as a next step for his research.

Following the talks and much debate, the judges announced the winner for best talk, Victoria Hill - a PhD student from Lancaster University.

Despite not picking up any prizes, James and Yelong both learned a lot from their own experiences giving a talk to their largest audiences yet, and from listening to others, all whilst enjoying the event. After the talks, they joined the social event including pizza, laser quest and a couple of rounds in the pub with the other PhD student participants. James and Yelong are both looking forward to getting their hands on the prize next year!