A major milestone has been achieved in the completion of the UK’s next-generation particle accelerator, ALICE, which is set to produce an intense beam of light that will revolutionise the way in which accelerator based light source research facilities will be designed in the future.
To mark the occasion, ALICE was visited today, 13 November 2008, by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent as part of his visit to the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus. ALICE is based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory and on Thursday 23 October, after more than four years of planning and construction, it achieved its first high-energy beam. This brings ALICE one step closer to its completion and to achieving its goal of energy recovery, a critical requirement for the economic viability of such future light sources.
Set to underpin the UK’s next accelerator-based light source, ALICE is a unique world-class R&D prototype whose cutting edge technology will enable advances in areas including security and medical imaging. ALICE produces terahertz radiation which can be used to significantly enhance airport security due to its ability to detect bombs and non-metallic items through clothing that would normally only be possible with a personal search, as well as providing significant potential for non-invasive medical imaging. High energy beams from ALICE will also go on to be used to influence technology for new cancer treatements in a linked project known as EMMA.
The first high-energy beam was achieved using ALICE’s photoinjector, which fired a beam of electrons into a superconducting linear accelerator, creating a particle beam with a total energy of nearly four and a half million electron volts. The photoinjector is a high-brightness electron gun capable of generating extremely short pulses of electrons, less than a hundred picoseconds in duration (one picosecond is a millionth of a millionth of a second). These pulses are fired into the first linear accelerator (known as the booster) at a rate of 81 million shots per second. The booster is maintained at a temperature of -271degrees Celsius, at which temperature it becomes superconducting and capable of sustaining very high electric and magnetic fields. This accelerated beam will eventually be used to generate pulses of infrared, ultraviolet and x-ray light, creating the ultimate stroboscopic light source capable of making real-time movies of chemical reactions at the atomic level. This capability will have a major impact in research carried out in the fields of drug development, materials science and ‘green’ technologies.
Susan Smith, Head of the Accelerator Physics Group at Daresbury Laboratory said: “This is a significant milestone towards ALICE’s main target of demonstrating energy recovery. Energy recovery means that the energy used to create the beam is recovered and re-used after each circuit of the accelerator, so the best beams of light scientists will ever have used can also be produced most cost-effectively. Achieving the first high-energy beam is a significant step forward for the scientists and engineers at STFC Daresbury Laboratory who can now move on to commissioning the full accelerator system and demonstrating energy recovery.”
Wendy Taylor MCIPR | alfa
Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
22.09.2017 | University of Kansas
22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy