The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science - Bridging Grant

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science (JAI) is a Centre of Excellence in the UK for advanced and novel accelerator technology, providing expertise, research, development and training in accelerator techniques, and promoting advanced accelerator applications in science and society.

The JAI, established in 2004, has become an internationally recognised centre for accelerator science. Its vital role in training the next generation of scientists has clearly boosted the UK's impact in this area, helping to address the problem of the worldwide shortage of accelerator scientists. JAI academics, researchers and students have together developed a strong research programme at the forefront of accelerator science, spanning national and international facilities and projects. The JAI has developed, and is actively enhancing, connections with industry and its outreach programme. We are working closely with industrial companies to bring scientific ideas closer to practical applications. Our inspiring and innovative outreach is increasing the desire of younger generations to aspire to technical and scientific careers. These three key elements of the JAI programme, training, accelerator research, and industrial connection and outreach, form the core of our future plans. With Imperial College joining this proposal, the research and training capabilities of the JAI will be significantly strengthened.

In the few years of its history, JAI personnel have already made significant contributions to not only many existing, facilities and experiments both in the UK and abroad, but also proposed projects (from the International Linear Collider (ILC) and Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) for CERN to a Particle Accelerator for Medical Applications (PAMELA), and projects currently being implemented (European Spallation Source, Large Hardron Collider upgrade, SuperB collider in Italy). The JAI has built up expertise in laser-accelerator interactions, design and operation of the brightest electron rings and light sources, machine-detector interface and final-focus systems, handling of proton and muon beams for medical and particle-physics applications, and excellence in advanced beam diagnostics, instrumentation and simulation. In many cases this expertise is unique in the world. The future JAI programme is built upon our expertise and core competences and will include projects of direct relevance to the national accelerator-science strategy, to national facilities such as Diamond and ISIS at Harwell and to the future of particle physics.

The JAI has now initiated work towards new research directions - in particular, we are working towards the creation of a suite of compact light sources, building on our laser-accelerator expertise and bringing us closer to industrial applications, with an aim of achieving commercial devices in the near future. The most challenging, but also the most promising, area is laser-plasma acceleration, and we will address this challenge by combining forces with the plasma physics groups at Oxford and Imperial College, and via developing collaborations with worldwide centres of expertise in this area.

The funding for the JAI in this project will underpin the core elements outlined above. This core staff provision will allow us to explore new opportunities - both in new directions and at the boundaries between synergistic projects - and the early development of new ideas so that dedicated funding can then be secured. This funding will also leverage future investment for both new and established projects, as has been already demonstrated, and ensure that the UK remains a key player in accelerator science and technology worldwide.

This research programme will continue raising the impact of accelerator science on UK's scientific and industrial capabilities and will help to solve the challenges of the 21st century through its applications to healthcare, energy, materials and biological science.

Publications

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