CERN Accelerating science

A novel beam screen technology for FCC-hh

3rd Prototype of the FCC-hh beam screen, manufactured according to the current base line design, during alignment procedure at BESTEX. (Image: CERN)

 

The Future Circular Collider Study, supported through the EU-funded H2020 EuroCirCol project, was conceived as a conceptual design study for a post-LHC research infrastructure combining an energy-frontier 100 TeV circular hadron collider (FCC-hh) with a lepton collider (FCC-ee) as a first step, both housed in a new 100km tunnel. The EuroCirCol project was divided in five work packages (WP) with the goal to develop the necessary key technologies to go beyond the current state–of-the-art. Among them, the “Cryogenic vacuum system” Work Package (WP4) was established to develop the technical design concept for the FCC-hh vacuum beam-pipe, based on the requirements and constraints derived from the design of the overal 100km ring and the bending magnets. 

Such challenge was successfully overcome by the different tasks under WP4: the smooth cooperation among the different teams contributing to this goal resulted in the development of an overall integrated design for the cryogenic beam vacuum system that could cope with the requirements posed by the very energetic beams of FCC-hh.

A critical component of the cryogenic beam vacuum system is the so-called beam screen. It protects the cryogenic (1.9K) dipole magnets from the direct irradiation of the synchrotron photons. This radiation is originated when the hadron beam trajectory is bent as it passes through the dipole’s magnetic field. During its operation, the hadron beams stored at the collider FCC-hh would originate unprecedented levels of radiation for hadron machines, in such way that the accelerator power and flux will be orders of magnitude higher than those of the LHC. These facts made the design of the FCC-hh beam screen a very challenging task for WP4 of the EuroCirCol project. The working temperature, dynamic vacuum pressure, as well as the photo- and secondary electron population are just some of the many parameters that were optimized by intensive engineering studies, to satisfy the required conditions for the correct operation of FCC-hh.

In such framework, the necessity of studying the vacuum and cryogenic performance of the actual FCC-hh beam screen prototypes arose as a key step for the design validation. To this end, a Beam Screen Testbench EXperiment (BESTEX) was build and put in operation by the collaboration.

Fig.1: Schematic description of BESTEX and its functionality.

The goal of the measurement setup was to determine the synchrotron radiation photodesorpotion yield, reflectivity, heat loads, and photoelectron yields inside the FCC-hh beam screen prototypes.  In order to perform the experimental work under conditions similar to those foreseen for the real machine, BESTEX was designed to be installed at the synchrotron radiation source KARA (previously known as ANKA) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany. KARA was chosen due to its similarity with FCC-hh’s photon flux and power spectra. KARA’s synchrotron critical energy at its nominal 2.5 GeV operation is 4.2 KeV while for FCC-hh, at nominal operation (50 TeV per beam), it is expected to be 6.2 KeV. Such similarity results in a high resemblance of flux and power across the whole photon energy spectrum.

Fig.2: Left Luis Antonio González, Right Left Miguel Gil-Costa during installation of the first FCC-hh beam screen prototype for commissioning at BESTEX. (Image: FCC)

In October 2015, the conceptual design of BESTEX started at CERN by two project associates at the Vacuum Studies and Measurements (VSM) and Design Logistics and Methods (DLM) sections from the Vacuum, Surfaces and Coatings (VSC) Group at CERN. On 19 July 2017, the irradiation of the first FCC-hh beam screen prototype took place at BESTEX (see Fig.2). Between these two dates, all the components were designed and manufactured. The control system of BESTEX, as well as its data acquisition software, were also developed. BESTEX was assembled, aligned and fully commissioned at CERN before being disassembled and shipped to KARA for the final installation. A strategy was developed, allowing its re-assembly the setup after transportation to KARA without compromising the accuracy of the alignment. Such capability was achieved by developing a system formed by fiducialized callipers and vacuum compatible linear actuators. Since its first run, BESTEX has performed measurements of synchrotron radiation-related effects on several samples. As the design of FCC-hh evolved after each improvement iteration, new prototypes have been manufactured according to each different design.

The processes performed at CERN, as well the installation of BESTEX at KARA, were carried out in close collaboration with the Institute for Beam Physics and Technology (IBPT) team at KIT, allowing to efficiently synchronize and optimize the tasks succeed in such challenging project.

The measurements performed at BESTEX have allowed to optimise the beam screen design process by confirming the performance foreseen by simulations. Moreover, data acquired after acquisition of high photon doses makes possible to predict the vacuum performance of the FCC-hh beam screen during machine operation. Such measurements have been a key input for the development of the FCC Conceptual Design Report (CDR) published in July 2019.

BESTEX remains now an extremely valuable R&D experimental setup from CERN. It provides the necessary resources to perform numerous synchrotron-related experiments, not only on FCC-hh technical samples, but also to perform fundamental material properties’ studies on materials of interest for the realm of the particle accelerators.

 
Ricardo Torres (University of Liverpool)
EuPRAXIA marks two years of research into plasma accelerators
11 Dec 2017

EuPRAXIA marks two years of research into plasma accelerators

EuPRAXIA is designing the world’s first multi-GeV user-ready plasma accelerator

Alexandra Welsch, Samantha Colosimo, Javier Resta López (University of Liverpool)
Accelerating Learning
8 Oct 2018

Accelerating Learning

Summer events held at CERN boost knowledge and collaboration. The events were coordinated by the QUASAR Group.

Nadia Pastrone, Daniel Schulte (Muon Collider Group)
Towards a strategic plan for future muon colliders
10 Dec 2019

Towards a strategic plan for future muon colliders

In the context of the European Strategy Update on Particle Physics, a working group was been appointed in 2017 by the CERN Directorate to review the status of muon collider activities.

A novel beam screen technology for FCC-hh

3rd Prototype of the FCC-hh beam screen, manufactured according to the current base line design, during alignment procedure at BESTEX. (Image: CERN)

 

The Future Circular Collider Study, supported through the EU-funded H2020 EuroCirCol project, was conceived as a conceptual design study for a post-LHC research infrastructure combining an energy-frontier 100 TeV circular hadron collider (FCC-hh) with a lepton collider (FCC-ee) as a first step, both housed in a new 100km tunnel. The EuroCirCol project was divided in five work packages (WP) with the goal to develop the necessary key technologies to go beyond the current state–of-the-art. Among them, the “Cryogenic vacuum system” Work Package (WP4) was established to develop the technical design concept for the FCC-hh vacuum beam-pipe, based on the requirements and constraints derived from the design of the overal 100km ring and the bending magnets. 

Such challenge was successfully overcome by the different tasks under WP4: the smooth cooperation among the different teams contributing to this goal resulted in the development of an overall integrated design for the cryogenic beam vacuum system that could cope with the requirements posed by the very energetic beams of FCC-hh.

A critical component of the cryogenic beam vacuum system is the so-called beam screen. It protects the cryogenic (1.9K) dipole magnets from the direct irradiation of the synchrotron photons. This radiation is originated when the hadron beam trajectory is bent as it passes through the dipole’s magnetic field. During its operation, the hadron beams stored at the collider FCC-hh would originate unprecedented levels of radiation for hadron machines, in such way that the accelerator power and flux will be orders of magnitude higher than those of the LHC. These facts made the design of the FCC-hh beam screen a very challenging task for WP4 of the EuroCirCol project. The working temperature, dynamic vacuum pressure, as well as the photo- and secondary electron population are just some of the many parameters that were optimized by intensive engineering studies, to satisfy the required conditions for the correct operation of FCC-hh.

In such framework, the necessity of studying the vacuum and cryogenic performance of the actual FCC-hh beam screen prototypes arose as a key step for the design validation. To this end, a Beam Screen Testbench EXperiment (BESTEX) was build and put in operation by the collaboration.

Fig.1: Schematic description of BESTEX and its functionality.

The goal of the measurement setup was to determine the synchrotron radiation photodesorpotion yield, reflectivity, heat loads, and photoelectron yields inside the FCC-hh beam screen prototypes.  In order to perform the experimental work under conditions similar to those foreseen for the real machine, BESTEX was designed to be installed at the synchrotron radiation source KARA (previously known as ANKA) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany. KARA was chosen due to its similarity with FCC-hh’s photon flux and power spectra. KARA’s synchrotron critical energy at its nominal 2.5 GeV operation is 4.2 KeV while for FCC-hh, at nominal operation (50 TeV per beam), it is expected to be 6.2 KeV. Such similarity results in a high resemblance of flux and power across the whole photon energy spectrum.

Fig.2: Left Luis Antonio González, Right Left Miguel Gil-Costa during installation of the first FCC-hh beam screen prototype for commissioning at BESTEX. (Image: FCC)

In October 2015, the conceptual design of BESTEX started at CERN by two project associates at the Vacuum Studies and Measurements (VSM) and Design Logistics and Methods (DLM) sections from the Vacuum, Surfaces and Coatings (VSC) Group at CERN. On 19 July 2017, the irradiation of the first FCC-hh beam screen prototype took place at BESTEX (see Fig.2). Between these two dates, all the components were designed and manufactured. The control system of BESTEX, as well as its data acquisition software, were also developed. BESTEX was assembled, aligned and fully commissioned at CERN before being disassembled and shipped to KARA for the final installation. A strategy was developed, allowing its re-assembly the setup after transportation to KARA without compromising the accuracy of the alignment. Such capability was achieved by developing a system formed by fiducialized callipers and vacuum compatible linear actuators. Since its first run, BESTEX has performed measurements of synchrotron radiation-related effects on several samples. As the design of FCC-hh evolved after each improvement iteration, new prototypes have been manufactured according to each different design.

The processes performed at CERN, as well the installation of BESTEX at KARA, were carried out in close collaboration with the Institute for Beam Physics and Technology (IBPT) team at KIT, allowing to efficiently synchronize and optimize the tasks succeed in such challenging project.

The measurements performed at BESTEX have allowed to optimise the beam screen design process by confirming the performance foreseen by simulations. Moreover, data acquired after acquisition of high photon doses makes possible to predict the vacuum performance of the FCC-hh beam screen during machine operation. Such measurements have been a key input for the development of the FCC Conceptual Design Report (CDR) published in July 2019.

BESTEX remains now an extremely valuable R&D experimental setup from CERN. It provides the necessary resources to perform numerous synchrotron-related experiments, not only on FCC-hh technical samples, but also to perform fundamental material properties’ studies on materials of interest for the realm of the particle accelerators.

 
Nadia Pastrone, Daniel Schulte (Muon Collider Group)
Towards a strategic plan for future muon colliders
10 Dec 2019

Towards a strategic plan for future muon colliders

In the context of the European Strategy Update on Particle Physics, a working group was been appointed in 2017 by the CERN Directorate to review the status of muon collider activities.

Ricardo Torres and Alexandra Welsch (University of Liverpool)
Accelerators for Science and Society
11 Jul 2019

Accelerators for Science and Society

International event in Liverpool showcases benefits of accelerator R&D and engages the next generation of researchers.

Athena Papageorgiou Koufidou & Fiona J. Harden (CERN)
HiRadMat: testing materials under high radiation
7 Dec 2017

HiRadMat: testing materials under high radiation

The CERN test facility offers high irradiation testing to researchers.

How fundamental science is changing our world

Fundamental science benefits society in many ways, from generating knowledge about how our universe works, to enabling unexpected and often transformative applications. Particle accelerators have been at the centre of many of the most advanced research infrastructures for decades. They have enabled many discoveries, such as the Higgs boson, and also led to the development of technologies that have changed our lives.

Future particle accelerators are expected to have a similarly bold impact on science and society. To showcase and the discuss the technologies that are currently being developed within the global Future Circular Collider (FCC) study, almost 1,000 researchers and industrialists from across Europe, university and high school students participated in “Particle Colliders – Accelerating Innovation”, an international science Symposium that took place in Liverpool on Friday 22nd March 2019.

The event, which was co-hosted by the University of Liverpool and CERN together with partners from the Future Circular Collider and EuroCirCol projects and the support of the EASITRain and AVA MSCA training networks, investigated the opportunities that a next generation of colliders can offer to industry, scientists and society.

In January 2019, CERN published the conceptual design report for the Future Circular Collider (FCC), a potential successor to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which aims to expand our current understanding of nature beyond the established physical model of the universe.

Professor Carsten P. Welsch, Head of the University of Liverpool Physics Department and organizer of the event, explains why fundamental research is key to advancing a knowledge-based society: “Fundamental research enables discoveries that push the boundaries of our understanding of the universe. This requires highly advanced experiments, made possible through a true global effort. Developing the design concept for future research infrastructures is not just about the science they would enable; it also requires us to drive technological progress that can benefit our everyday lives.”

The keynote talks from the Symposium were live-streamed to institutions across Europe and are now available to watch via the event website. Dozens of companies from across the UK and other EU countries showcased their latest products in an industry exhibition which followed the morning talks. The exhibition also served university students as a careers fair. They had their normal modules replaced by this unique event and found an ideal opportunity to discuss employment opportunities in different sectors. A wide range of high tech companies joined the event and provided insight into where their physics degree might take the students to next.

Image 1. Part of the outreach exhibition with the LHC interactive tunnel in the front. (Image: University of Liverpool)

More than a dozen different outreach activities, each one offered several times in parallel, were available to high school students. This included the Plasmatron, an interactive game explaining the physics behind plasma accelerators, salad bowl accelerators showing how high voltages can be generated, the augmented reality accelerator acceleratAR that turns paper cubes into components of a particle accelerator, and cryo-experiments that turned flowers into glass-like objects…which were then smashed into pieces by the children, as can be seen on the photo below.

Image 2. Part of the outreach exhibition with the LHC interactive tunnel in the front. (Image: University of Liverpool)

The entire hall was full of physics, in fact, there was even physics in the way that activities were set up as they were arranged along the spectral colours of the rainbow. A leaflet was made available to all participants and explained the link between each individual activity and ongoing accelerator science R&D.

A highlight for the hundreds of visually impaired and sighted students attending was a demonstration of the world’s first interactive ‘Tactile Collider’, which uses touch together with real sounds from the LHC to create an immersive experience. This unique experience was developed by experts from the Cockcroft Institute and has been touring the UK over the past 2 years. The event was made inclusive for VI children: in addition to tactile collider, all talks were supported by a narrator who explained the slides on display via Bluetooth headset to them. RNIB Connect Radio's Simon Pauley spoke with Dr Chris Edmonds and Professor Carsten Welsch the day before the event and you can listen to the interview here.

Finally, delegates also had the chance to play proton football and interact with visualisations of themselves in two different universes within CERN’s interactive Large Hadron Collider Tunnel, which made its UK premiere at the Symposium.

The “Particle Colliders: Accelerating Innovation” Symposium was co-hosted by the University of Liverpool and CERN, together with partners from the Future Circular Collider and EuroCirCol projects, on Friday 22 March 2019 at the ACC Liverpool. All talks and further information are available via the event website: indico.cern.ch/event/747618

Ricardo Torres (University of Liverpool)
How fundamental science is changing our world
27 Mar 2019

How fundamental science is changing our world

Global FCC study discussed benefits of discovery science to society and industry at Symposium “Particle Colliders – Accelerating Innovation”

Panos Charitos (CERN)
Interview with Mariana Mazzucato: Bridging Research with Innovation
25 Mar 2019

Interview with Mariana Mazzucato: Bridging Research with Innovation

Prof. Mariana Mazzucato on innovation and the concept of "missions".

Achintya Rao (CERN)
Proton Synchrotron prepared for higher injection energies
26 Mar 2020

Proton Synchrotron prepared for higher injection energies

CERN’s oldest working accelerator has a new injection kicker magnet and will soon receive a new septum as well.

Advancing superconductivity for future magnets

Superconductivity has been instrumental for the realization of large particle accelerators and is a key enabling technology for a future circular proton-proton collider (FCC-hh) reaching energies of 100 TeV.

The alloy Nb-Ti is undoubtedly the most successful practical superconductor, and it has been used in all superconducting particle accelerators and detectors built to date, but the higher magnetic fields required for the High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) upgrade and a future circular collider (FCC) call for new materials. An enabling superconducting technology for accelerator magnets beyond 10 tesla is the niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) compound.

Nb3Sn wires suitable for producing the 11 T magnets required for the HL-LHC have been produced in industry, but the high-field magnets proposed for the FCC would require a substantial step forward in performance. In order to achieve this goal, a conductor development programme is under way at CERN.

To address the challenges of this project, a Conductor Development Workshop has bene launched by CERN. Amalia Ballarino, leader of the Superconductor and Superconducting Devices (SCD) section says: “It is the right time to create momentum for the FCC study and to bring together the current participants in our conductor development project to share recent progress and discuss future activities.”

The focus of the conductor development programme is on the development of Nb3Sn multi-filamentary wires able to meet the target non-copper critical current density (Jc) performance of 1,500 A/mm2 at 16 T and at a temperature of 4.2 K (-268.95 °C). CERN is engaged in collaborative conductor development activities with a number of industrial and academic partners to achieve these challenging goals, and the initial phase of the programme will last four years.

Presently, the conductor developed for HL-LHC reaches a performance of about 1,000–1200 A/mm2 at 16 T and 4.2 K, and a significant R&D effort is needed to increase this by 30 to 50% to meet the requirements of 16 T magnets. “The magnets for future higher energy accelerators require fundamental research on superconductors to achieve the targets in performance and cost,” says Ballarino. For the FCC magnets, thousands of tonnes of superconductor will be required. Along with an increase in performance, a more competitive cost is needed, which calls for a wire design suitable for industrial-scale production at a considerably lower cost than the state-of-the-art conductor.

Representatives from five research institutes and seven companies, from the US, Japan, Korea, Russia, China and Europe, travelled to CERN in March 2018 to attend the first Conductor Development Workshop. “Our aim is to open up a space where collaborators can discuss the current status and review different approaches to meet the target performance and cost. The meeting also serves as an invitation to potential new partners interested in joining this effort”. Two new companies attended the workshop to discuss their possible future involvement in the project, namely Luvata and Western Superconducting Technologies (WST).

The workshop started with a plenary session followed by closed meetings during which companies engaged in fruitful discussions.  “Presentations in the plenary session gave a valuable overview of progress and future directions,” observed Simon Hopkins, a CERN expert on superconductivity and scientific secretary of the workshop, “but we recognise the commercial sensitivity of some of these developments. It was essential to provide an environment in which our industrial partners were free to discuss the details openly: both their proposed technical solutions and a realistic assessment of the challenges ahead.”

First Future Circular Collider conductor development workshop (Credit: Athina Papageorgiou-Koufidou).

The early involvement of industry, and their investment in developing new technologies, is crucial for the success of the programme. One of the positive outcomes of this meeting has been that, according to Amalia Ballarino: “Thanks to their commitment to the programme, and with CERN’s support, companies are now investing in a transition to internal tin processes. It was impressive to see achievements after only one year of activity”. Several partners have produced wire with Jc performance close to or exceeding the HL-LHC specification, and all of the companies that attended the workshop had new designs to present, some of which are very innovative.

Cross-sections of prototype Nb3Sn wires developed in collaboration with CERN as part of the FCC conductor development programme.Top: optical micrographs of wires from Kiswire Advanced Technology. Bottom: electron micrographs showing a wire developed by JASTEC in collaboration with KEK. Both show the unreacted wire before the heat treatment to form the Nb3Sn compound from the niobium filaments and tin. (Credit: KAT/JASTEC. The image originally appeared in the CERN Courier, June, 2018). 

The companies already producing Nb3Sn superconducting wire for the programme are Kiswire Advanced Technology Co., Ltd. (KAT); TVEL Fuel Company supported by the Bochvar Institute (JSC VNIINM); and from Japan, Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. and Japan Superconductor Technology Inc. (JASTEC), coordinated by the Japanese High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation, KEK. Columbus Superconductor SpA will participate in the programme for other superconducting materials.  Arrangements are now being finalised for Luvata and another manufacturer, Bruker EAS, to join the programme; and the participation of our Russian partner, TVEL, has been renewed.

Moreover, the organizers acknowledged the contribution of the academic partners, who are developing innovative approaches for the characterization of superconducting wires, as well as investigating new materials and processes that could help meet the required targets. Developments include the correlation of microstructures, compositional variations and superconducting properties in TU Wien; research into promising internal oxidation routes in the University of Geneva; the study of phase transformations at TU Bergakademie Freiberg; and conductors based on novel superconductors at CNR-SPIN.

Finally, during the two-day workshop a panel of experts reviewed the conductor programme and offered their invaluable insights during the last session of the workshop. Their recommendations centred on the scope and focus of the programme, encouraging an emphasis on novel approaches to achieve a breakthrough in performance, with the broadest possible participation of industrial partners, underpinned by close long-term partnerships with research institutions. “We fully share the panel’s ambition for developing novel approaches with our industrial partners,” agreed Hopkins. “Improving our understanding of the materials science of Nb3Sn wires is also essential for developing new and optimised processing methods, and we welcome the contribution of new research institutes”. A US research institute, the Applied Superconductivity Center based in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (Florida State University) has also joined the programme.

 

The structure of the FCC Conductor Development Programme, showing the activities (shaded boxes) and partners. A dotted outline and italic text indicate pending participants, whose participation is currently being finalised. (Credit: CERN)

Since the workshop, partners in the conductor development programme have continued to make good progress: the latest results will be presented at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in October 2018 (Seattle, USA), and a second edition of the workshop is planned in 2019.

We are confident that this will result in a new class of high-performance Nb3Sn material suitable not only for accelerator magnets, but also for other large-scale applications such as high field NMR and laboratory solenoids or MRI scanners for medical research.

 

Top image:  High-performance Nb3Sn cables are being assembled by a Rutherford cabling machine in CERN's superconducting laboratory (Credits: CERN). 

Leah Hesla (Fermilab)
Fermilab achieves 14.5-tesla field for accelerator magnet, setting new world record
15 Jul 2020

Fermilab achieves 14.5-tesla field for accelerator magnet, setting new world record

Fermilab achieved a 14.5-tesla field strength for an accelerator steering dipole magnet, surpassing their previous record of 14.1 T.

Ruben Garcia Alia, Pablo Fernandez Martinez ‎and Maria Kastriotou (CERN)
Ultra-high energy heavy ion testing
12 Dec 2018

Ultra-high energy heavy ion testing

The ultra-high energy heavy ions at accelerators allows to test electronic components.

Bernhard Holzer (CERN)
Specialized School on Novel Accelerators for Young Scientists
25 Mar 2020

Specialized School on Novel Accelerators for Young Scientists

The Spring 2019 edition of the CERN Accelerator School took place in Tecnico Lisboa and focused on High-Gradient Wakefield Acceleration.

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.

Ch. Bracco, D. Carbajo Perez and A. Perillo Marcone
Ensuring safer operation at higher luminosities
12 Mar 2018

Ensuring safer operation at higher luminosities

The higher bunch intensities and smaller beam emittances expected in HL-LHC call for a novel design of the Target Dump Injection (TDI)

Igor Syratchev (CERN)
The efficiency frontiers for high RF power L-band Multi-Beam Klystrons
21 Jul 2020

The efficiency frontiers for high RF power L-band Multi-Beam Klystrons

Exploring novel technologies for major savings in the energy consumption and cost of future accelerators.

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)

Editorial Team
Accelerating News Readers Survey
25 Mar 2019

Accelerating News Readers Survey

With this survey we are trying to learn more about our audience and how we can improve in the future. It should take less than 5 minutes. Thank you!

Panos Charitos (CERN)
Interview with Mariana Mazzucato: Bridging Research with Innovation
25 Mar 2019

Interview with Mariana Mazzucato: Bridging Research with Innovation

Prof. Mariana Mazzucato on innovation and the concept of "missions".

Francisco Sanchez Galan
P8 towards HL-LHC thanks to a new absorber
20 Oct 2019

P8 towards HL-LHC thanks to a new absorber

The first definitive component of the High-Luminosity LHC has been installed, in a prime example of collaboration across different groups.