CERN Accelerating science

Science transcends boundaries

For a third year, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Japan, together with EU Member State embassies, European and Japanese research laboratories organized a number of events during the Science Agora 2017, Japan’s largest science fair. Every year, Science Agora offers a unique opportunity for scientists to interact with policymakers and the general public to discuss how science and technology transform our daily lives and occupy a central place in economic growth and societal change.

The key theme of the 2017 Science Agora was “Beyond the Boundaries”. In this regard, international collaboration and geographical diversity are just as important as diversity of disciplines. The FCC study, supported through EC’s H2020 EuroCirCol programme, was presented as an example of how international scientific collaboration transcends different boundaries and could help us address a number of inter-connected global challenges. In total five projects were selected to showcase how collaboration between European and Japanese institutes boosts frontiers in particle physics, sustainable energy sources, the internet of things, nuclear fusion, smart cities and climate change.

EU's "participation in Science Agora is thus driven by our twofold desire to show in a tangible manner some of the best science and innovation which are being developed in Europe, and to demonstrate the diverse ways in which European and Japanese researchers and scientists are cooperating", said EU Ambassador Viorel Isticioaia-Budura.

The opening ceremony of EU's participation to Science Agora 2017 in Tokyo. EU Ambassador to Japan Viorel Isticioaia-Budura (right) and Leonidas Karapiperis, Head of S&T Section, Delegation of the EU to Japan (left) (Image Credits: EU delegation to Japan).

Frank Zimmermann (Deputy FCC-study leader) discussed how the FCC study strengthens the role of global collaboration in science, technology and innovation, leveraging the competencies of experts from different fields and countries. “We are facing a changing reality that not only opens up the opportunity for collaboration, but which actually necessitates the latter, as it becomes increasingly difficult for individual scientists or even individual countries to conduct groundbreaking research on their own. We have witnessed how scientific research has evolved over the past decades, requiring R&D efforts beyond institutes and even countries to develop novel enabling technologies.” International cutting-edge research helps us cross the boundary between the present and the future, and allows us to envisage a much more powerful post-LHC collider.

Moreover, Zimmermann presented the joint efforts with KEK and University of Tokyo in developing a new generation of superconductors that will meet the requirements of the high-field magnets needed for a 100 TeV energy frontier collider. It is key to the success of any high-tech project to involve the entire scientific and engineering community from the very early days onwards.

Frank Zimmermann (CERN) presenting the scope of the study for a Future Circular Collider and highlighting aspects of the collaboration with Japanese research institutes and universities.

The European Union’s participation in the Science Agora also included lively demonstrations of superconductors, a video illustration of the FCC collider, poster presentations, and small tokens for the young visitors! This event offered the opportunity for European and Japanese researchers to present their joint projects and, conversely, to listen to the voices of the general public, including Japanese high-school, middle-school and primary-school students fascinated by science. This next generation will eventually provide the researchers to work on the proposed future accelerator complex. At the Agora, the participating scientists also shared their original motivation and the questions they are trying to address through their research, thereby inspiring many young students who were curious about a researcher’s life.

The stand of the EU delegation in the Science Agora 2017 giving information about a number of EC supported projects.

The FCC study along with the other collaborative projects that were presented at the Science Agora 2017 are helping to expand the area of world-leading scientific and technological collaboration between Japan and Europe – an area that will create growth and that will offer to young people, from around the world, the space to dream, to aspire and to develop.

Alexandra Welsch (University of Liverpool)
Physics of Star Wars: Science or Fiction?
7 Dec 2017

Physics of Star Wars: Science or Fiction?

Accelerator experts bring the Force to life.

Massimo Sorbi (CERN, INFN), Marco Statera (INFN) and Ezio Todesco (CERN)
A new step towards successful MgB2 superconducting coils
12 Mar 2018

A new step towards successful MgB2 superconducting coils

MgB2 coil successfully tested at LASA for the round coil superferric magnet correctors

Maurizio Vretenar (CERN)
Accelerator-Industry Co-Innovation Workshop
15 Mar 2018

Accelerator-Industry Co-Innovation Workshop

Tools and strategies to enhance industry-academia cooperation in the particle accelerator community

Physics of Star Wars: Science or Fiction?

Light sabres, hyper speed and droids – how do they all connect with the latest accelerator research? With the imminent launch of “The Last Jedi”, Professor Carsten Welsch, Head of Physics at the University of Liverpool and Head of Communication for the Cockcroft Institute, has explored the “Physics of Star Wars” in an event on 27th November designed to introduce cutting-edge accelerator science to hundreds of secondary school children, undergraduate and PhD students, as well as university staff.

The day started with a lecture which first presented iconic scenes from the movies to then explain what is possible with current technology and what remains fiction. For example, a lightsabre, as shown in the film, wouldn’t be possible according to the laws of physics, but there are many exciting applications using lasers. There is a link to advances in lasers and laser acceleration being studied by an international collaboration within the EuPRAXIA project. This programme is developing the world’s first plasma accelerator with industry beam quality. It uses a high intensity laser pulse to drive an electron beam and accelerate this to high energies. Applications in science or industry that are close to a light sabre include for example 3D printing of metals and laser cutting.

Professor Welsch said: “In the very first movie from 1977, the rebels have used proton torpedoes that make the Death Star explode as their lasers wouldn’t penetrate the shields. I linked that to our use of ‘proton torpedoes’ in cancer therapy. Within the pan-European OMA project we are using proton beams to target something that is hidden very deep inside the body and very difficult to target and destroy.”

 OMA Fellow Jacinta Yab explaining the use of ‘proton torpedoes’ in cancer therapy (Image credit: QUASAR Group)

 The light and dark side of the Force in Star Wars was an ideal opportunity to talk about matter and antimatter interactions which are currently being explored at CERN’s AD and ELENA storage rings, as well as within the brand-new Marie Sklodowska-Curie research network AVA. Finally, participants learned about how high energy colliders, such as the LHC, its high luminosity upgrade or a potential Future Circular Collider (FCC) as it is being studied within the EuroCirCol project, can provide fantastic opportunities to study the force(s).

High school students participating in hands-on activities during ‘Physics of Star Wars’ event. (Image credit: QUASAR Group)

After the lecture, all participants were given the opportunity to understand the science behind Star Wars through numerous hands-on activities in the university’s award-winning Central Teaching Laboratory. This included laser graffiti, augmented reality experiments with Star Wars droids and virtual accelerators using AcceleratAR, and even two full-scale planetariums which fully immersed participants into the world of Star Wars, deflecting charged particle beams using Helmholtz coils.

Professor Welsch and members of his QUASAR Group had the kind permission of Lucasfilm to use film excerpts; these were complemented by Lego Star Wars models, a real cantina as found in the movies, storm troopers and even Darth Vader himself! Many photographs from the exciting day can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/livuniphysics

Lucasfilm had no involvement in the preparation or delivery of the event which was organised only by staff and students from the University of Liverpool.

 

Header image: Prof Carsten Welsch presenting the ‘Physics of Star Wars’ (Image credit: QUASAR Group)

Maurizio Vretenar (CERN)
Accelerator-Industry Co-Innovation Workshop
15 Mar 2018

Accelerator-Industry Co-Innovation Workshop

Tools and strategies to enhance industry-academia cooperation in the particle accelerator community

Isabel Bejar Alonso (CERN) , Rama Calaga (CERN), Ofelia Capatina (CERN)
From first concept to the SPS: the challenge of the HL-LHC crab cavities cryomodules
13 Dec 2017

From first concept to the SPS: the challenge of the HL-LHC crab cavities cryomodules

Crab cavities will help increase the luminosity of collisions in the High-Luminosity upgrade of the LHC.

Massimo Sorbi (CERN, INFN), Marco Statera (INFN) and Ezio Todesco (CERN)
A new step towards successful MgB2 superconducting coils
12 Mar 2018

A new step towards successful MgB2 superconducting coils

MgB2 coil successfully tested at LASA for the round coil superferric magnet correctors