Cockcroft Institute

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

Science has underpinned human progress for centuries. It has improved our quality of life and helps us understand our place in the Universe. The days when important breakthroughs could be achieved by a researcher working alone in a laboratory with minimal equipment are long gone. Now, the most important insights in science demand that researchers work in teams, collaborating between universities and laboratories and across national boundaries, often hand-in-hand with expert industrial partners. They also demand the best and most sophisticated equipment.

The Cockcroft Institute reflects these changes. Its purpose is to research, design and develop particle accelerators, machines that can be used to reveal the nature of matter, to probe what happened at the instant the universe was born and to develop new materials and medicines to improve our quality of life. These machines are at the cutting-edge of technology, pushing to the limits our ability to control and understand processes happening at the smallest scales, and at the speed of light. They range from very small instruments built to manipulate a difficult process to large sources of particles to create and probe the innermost workings of atoms. The global economy can afford only a few of these latter machines and so they demand collaboration between multi-national teams of the world's best scientists and engineers.

The Cockcroft Institute - a collaboration between academia, national laboratories, industry and local economy - brings together the best accelerator scientists, engineers, educators and industrialists to conceive, design, construct and use innovative instruments of discovery at all scales and lead the UK's participation in flagship international experiments. It cultures the curiosity of emerging minds via education of the future generation and engages with industrial partners to generate wealth for the community that sustains us.

Established more than a decade ago, the Cockcroft Institute is increasingly focusing its attention on three parallel and complementary activities:
- Contributions to near future scientific frontier facilities based on incremental advances to conventional accelerating technologies
- Ground-breaking research in novel methods of particle acceleration which have the long term potential to yield much more compact types of particle accelerators
- Applications of accelerators to address global challenges in healthcare, security, energy, manufacturing and the environment.

Planned Impact

1. Specific benefits to future STFC projects
The Cockcroft Institute (CI) strategy aims to develop fundamental, world-leading expertise in core areas, with direct and indirect benefit to the UK programme and international field. The resulting skill base will underpin the STFC programme in many areas by providing core accelerator expertise and enabling technology.

The core institute competence in frontier machines will have a large impact on the upgrade of STFC collider facilities such as the LHC (e.g the CI initiated and led HL-LHC-UK, 2016-2020), through the delivery of hardware and knowledge. The core institute competence in medical and security accelerators directly addresses the RCUK and STFC thematic agenda. The work in accelerator R&D for medical applications has several potential impacts on diverse communities, notably in the healthcare sector where two UK-based (Manchester, London) hadron therapy centres are being constructed. The third core institute competence in novel acceleration aims to position the institute as internationally competitive in several novel acceleration areas, and world leading in some.

2. UK Healthcare and Industrial Involvement
The CI program has the potential to create impact on an academic, societal and economic level as well as contributing to the training and career advancement of future research leaders in accelerator science and technology. The CI, working in close collaboration with the Christie Hospital, will develop a research beamline currently under construction at their proton therapy centre; this will be a unique facility for both biomedical and accelerator research.

Regarding industrial applications, CI experience in high gradient linacs has enabled novel linacs to be developed for cargo screening and proton therapy/imaging. This has resulted in a collaboration with Rapiscan and e2v, and the development of an industrial linac at Daresbury to be used for other industrial applications such as looking at e-beam treatment of contaminated water. Two CI researchers Alexandrova and Yin were awarded Royal Society of Edinburgh/STFC Enterprise Fellowships, leading to creation of the company D-Beam in December 2015 to provide advanced beam diagnostics. Yin in 2016 is in the process of forming a spin out company THz Power Ltd to commercially exploit millimeter and sub-millimeter source technology.

3. Improving career prospects and training
To date the CI has trained 49 PhD students in accelerator science and technology (not including Strathclyde students). These students have moved into a wide range of positions with 20% working in industry and 37% working in national laboratories. We believe the broad education offered by the CI covering both physics and engineering of accelerators, as well as transferable skills provides our students with a good grounding to thrive outside of academia.

4. Outreach and Communication Activities
We will develop an impact case for Accelerator Science Outreach that uses CI R&D to educate a variety of target audiences outside of the accelerator community. CI is communication led in a number of highly visible accelerator projects and with dedicated support of the Project TEAM at the CI we will pursue an international communication strategy and hold a number of large scale outreach events. Researchers and students from across CI will help communicate Institute activities to different target audiences as identified in the Institute's wider communication plan. All CI PhD students will be trained as STEM Ambassadors and engage with school children via visits to (at least) two local colleges or high schools each and talk about their own experiences and research. The CI will host an annual Outreach Symposium in a large venue, such as the Liverpool Convention Centre, as a scientific outreach event to showcase specific accelerator research areas to a wide audience.

Publications

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Adey D (2017) Overview of the Neutrinos from Stored Muons Facility - nuSTORM in Journal of Instrumentation

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Ahmadi M (2017) Antihydrogen accumulation for fundamental symmetry tests. in Nature communications

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Ahmadi M (2018) Enhanced Control and Reproducibility of Non-Neutral Plasmas. in Physical review letters

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Apsimon R (2017) An improved equivalent circuit model of a four rod deflecting cavity in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

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Bayliss V (2018) The liquid-hydrogen absorber for MICE in Journal of Instrumentation

 
Description 1. First successful operation of an RF crab cavity in a proton accelerator with the HL-LHC collaboration (CERN, 2018) - publication in preparation
2. First acceleration of electrons (to 2 GeV) in a proton driven plasma wakefield accelerator with the AWAKE collaboration (CERN, 2018) - published
3. First successful novel acceleration experiments (plasma and dielectric) at 40 MeV in the CLARA electron linac (Daresbury 2018/19) - publications in preparation
4. Production of 100 MeV protons from a thin foil in a high power laser beam (CLF, RAL, 2018)
Exploitation Route 1. HL-LHC machine upgrade at CERN by 2026
2. Development of high energy electron acceleration (100 GeV+) from proton beams at CERN
3. New methods of beam control (de-chirping, deflection & acceleration) for particle accelerators
4. New sources of protons for diverse applications including radiotherapy
Sectors Education,Environment,Healthcare,Security and Diplomacy

URL https://home.cern/news/news/experiments/awake-successfully-accelerates-electrons
 
Description The Cockcroft Institute's public engagement programme continues to flourish and is described by its international Science Advisory Committee as world leading. The Institute's business and industry programme is evolving and gradually gaining traction with a number of key partners, resulting in a variety of joint collaborative ventures including the support of PhD studentship.
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description BeaPhy
Amount £245,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 624854 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description Beam Profile Measurements
Amount £400,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 
Sector Public
Country Switzerland
Start  
 
Description DITA-IIF
Amount £256,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 624890 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EUCARD 2 (WP4)
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 312453 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EUCARD WP12 RF - Innovative RF Technologies
Amount £452,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 227579 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EuPRAXIA
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 653782 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EuroCirCol
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 654305 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description HL-LHC Collimation
Amount £122,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 
Sector Public
Country Switzerland
Start  
 
Description HiLumi-HL-LHC Optics and Beam Dynamics
Amount £122,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description High Efficiency Klystrons/LLRF Control and Phase Measurements at XBOX
Amount £372,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 
Sector Public
Country Switzerland
Start  
 
Description LHC Collimation
Amount £108,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 
Sector Public
Country Switzerland
Start  
 
Description OMA
Amount £900 (GBP)
Funding ID 675265 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description TWEETHER
Amount £600,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 644678 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description AWAKE Collaboration at CERN 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Lancaster have contributed to the construction of the 16 MeV electron linac, Liverpool and Manchester have contributed to beam diagnostics.
Collaborator Contribution CERN have provided the experimental infrastructure and beam, etc.
Impact Still at the very early stages of the envisaged programme. No major results yet.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HL-LHC Collaboration 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Cockcroft Institute scientists are active in several work packages on this project including the Crab Cavities, beam collimation studies and diagnostics.
Collaborator Contribution The UK and STFC is contributing about £8M of capital and recurrent funding to this project.
Impact The project is ongoing and still at an early stage. The important outputs are still to come.
Start Year 2016
 
Description LBNF/PIP-II Collaboration 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Preparations for the construction of three high beta superconducting RF cryo-modules for the 800 MeV PIP-II proton linac at Fermilab
Collaborator Contribution Module design and project management of the PIP-II international project
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Muon g-2 collaboration 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Cockcroft Institute has contributed to beam dynamics studies for the experiment.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have constructed and operated the experiment.
Impact The experiment is at an early stage and has not yet produced any significant outputs.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Cockcroft Institute public engagement programme 2009-2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In the past 2 years more than 20 events have taken place and since the start of this award we estimate that there may have been well over 50 of them. They include public lectures, schools visits, lab tours and demonstrations, and participation in national events such as the Big Bang Show and the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibitions. These events have stimulated numerous questions and discussions, and feedback from schools and the general public indicates growing interest in accelerator science and technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013
URL https://www.cockcroft.ac.uk/education-and-training/outreach