Beam Diagnostics for FETS and PXIE

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


Particle accelerators used in modern research generally come in two varieties: those that are seeking to accelerate particles to the highest energies (such as CERN's Large Hadron Collider) and those seeking to accelerate particles to lower energies but with beams that are far more intense i.e. containing more particles than those used at the highest energies. These high-intensity particle accelerators deliver beams with MW of power and have a variety of potential applications ranging from material science, nuclear waste transmutation, nuclear power production to producing high energy beams of muons and neutrinos that can be used to understand why the universe has such a preponderance of matter over antimatter. One of the world's most intense sources of neutrons is provided by the ISIS proton accelerator at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot which uses neutrons to image and develop new materials and drugs with applications to new types of electronics, food science, environmental science, civil engineering, transportation, aerospace and healthcare. However to satisfy the needs of the researchers developing these applications both in terms of throughput and image quality and to provide the high intensity neutrino and muon beams needed for particle physics research requires new accelerators to be developed capable of sustaining higher power beams. This project which is a collaboration between scientists in the UK and in the USA (at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory [FNAL], just outside Chicago) will develop the first stages of this accelerator that will be harnessed in several new accelerators including: an upgrade to to the RAL ISIS facility, the European Spallation Neutron Source (ESS) and Project-X in FNAL.

Planned Impact

This research will have impact in the areas of healthcare, the environment and fundamental particle physics research. The research will develop the front-end for the next generation of superconducting RF accelerators capable of producing very intense proton pulses of a configurable energy and time structure. This has applications to next generation neutron and muon-SR beams being used to image novel materials and new drugs and also potentially to provide neutrons that can be used to treat nuclear waste and ultimately generate proliferation and waste-free nuclear power from thorium. The impact on particle physics will be provide higher intensity neutrino, muon and kaon beams that will be used in the next generation of neutrino oscillation experiments (e.g. LBNE) and lepton and quark flavour experiments that are seeking to identify very rare processes.


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D?Arcy R (2016) Characterisation of the PXIE Allison-type emittance scanner in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

Description The development of a novel first stage of an accelerator capable of producing high power proton beams.
Exploitation Route High intensity proton accelerator for nuclear waste transmutation and material imagining (neutrons)
Sectors Energy