22 Feb 2011



Accelerators areused for a variety of applications including medicine, semi-conductor manufacture and understanding the structure of materials. PPD will be a huge collaborator is different future experiments, such as LhARA, EIC and Hyper-Kamiokande.





The UK-led LhARA collaboration​ seek to establish an entirely new technique for the automated delivery of personalized, precision, multi-ion Particle Beam Therapy (PBT), which will revolutionize cancer treatment. It will be a hybrid system consisting of a high-power pulsed laser of protons and ions, which are captured and formed into a beam by strong-focusing electron-plasma lenses. Rapid accelerations will be performed using a fixed-field alternating-gradient accelerator. If successful, this new technique will have the greatest impact on the most difficult cancers to cure while at the same time stimulating new research directions in fundamental physics, material science, and radiation biology.

The steps fixed by the Lhara collaboration are:​

  1. Funding is sought from UKRI ​​​for an initial concept and risk-mitigation phase
  2. Funding for building the research facility in the UK
  3. R and D costs over ten years and development of the concept of the clinical facility
  4. Development of commercial product

Exploring a laser-hybrid accelerator for radiotherapy – CERN Courier

​Schematic of the LhARA facility (SOURCE: ​​​CERN Courier)​​


The Neutrinos from Stored Muons facility​ is a neutrino-nucleus scattering programme using beams of νe and νμ from the decay of muons confined in a low-energy ring. The flavour composition of the beam and the neutrino-energy spectrum are both precisely known, and the storage-ring instrumentation will allow the neutrino flux to be determined to a precision of 1% or better. The uniqueness of the facility will allow neutrino-scattering measurements to be made over the kinematic range of interest to the DUNE and Hyper-K collaborations. To maximize its impact, nuSTORM data-taking will begin by ≈ 2027/28 when the DUNE and Hyper-K collaborations will each be accumulating data sets capable of determining oscillation probabilities with percent-level precision.​ 

The development​ of this experiment can strongly benefit the physics community ​​since neutrino-nucleus scattering has the potential to make historic contributions to the development of more precise descriptions of nuclear structure, with the possibility to observe CPiV​ violation.​

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Schematic of the nuSTORM facility.  ​​Pions, produced in the bombardment of a target, are captured in a magnetic channel. The pion beam is then injected into the production straight of the decay ring. Roughly half of the pions decay as the beam passes through the production straight, while the undecayed pions and muons outside the momentum acceptance of the ring are directed to a beam dump.​​​ (SOURCE: K. Long, "nuSTORM at CERN: Executive Summary")​


​​Muon colliders have great potential for high-energy physics: they can offer collisions of point-like particles since muons can be accelerated in a ring without limitation from synchrotron radiation. The main technical challenge arises from the short muon lifetime at rest and the difficulty of producing large numbers of muons in bunches, requiring the development of innovative technologies.  ​​

The International Muon Collider (MC) Study​ aims to establish whether a muon collider is feasible and, if so, to develop the concept and technology to a level that allows committing to its construction. A proposal to limit the impact on the site of the high neutrino flux has been already developed and discussed.​​

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 ​​A conceptual scheme of the Muon Collider (SOURCE:​)

One of the projects PPD focuses on is the design of the 'Machine Detector Interface', the critical region where the accelerator meets the detector.  Indeed, the detector will need to be shielded against the intense flux of muon-decay products from the incoming beams but without compromising too much its physics performance capability.


The Electron-Ion Collider will be a discovery machine for understanding QCD interactions, the theory of the strong interaction between quarks mediated by gluons.​​​, and studying the structure and dynamics of matter at high luminosity, high energy and with a wide range of nuclei. ​

It will consist of two intersecting accelerators, one producing an intense beam of electrons, the other a high-energy beam of protons or heavier atomic nuclei. ​As these particles collide, the electrons will scatter off the quarks within the proton or nucleus. Studying the patterns and characteristics of the particles ejected in these scattering interactions will tease out the internal structure and distribution of the quarks and gluons.

The Electron-Ion Collider will drive the development of innovative accelerators, particle detectors, and computational technologies, advancing both known and yet-to-be-invented technologies.​

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Schematic of the Electron-Ion collider (SOURCE: ​​)


Hyper-Kamiokande is a next-generation underground water Cherenkov detector, based on the highly successful Super-Kamiokande experiment. It consists of two cylindrical tanks, each with a height of 60 m and a diameter of 74 m. The tanks are filled with half a million tons of ultrapure water, a volume approximately 10 times larger than that of Super-Kamiokande. On the walls of the tanks, 88,000 ultrasensitive photo-sensors are installed, in order to detect the very weak Cherenkov light generated in the ultrapure water.

Hyper-Kamiokande will serve as a far detector, 295 km away, of a long baseline neutrino experiment for the upgraded J-PARC beam. It will elucidate neutrino properties such as the CP violation of neutrinos and the ordering of neutrino masses. It will also be a detector capable of observing - far beyond the sensitivity of the Super-Kamiokande detector - proton decay, atmospheric neutrinos, solar neutrinos and neutrinos from astronomical sources.


A Cherenkov light cone in the water of one of two Hyper-Kamiokande tanks

PPD is actively involved in Hyper-Kamiokande, specifically in the areas of the data acquisition system, light injection design and simulation studies for detector optimization.​

Contact: Locati, Giulia (STFC,RAL,PPD)