Particle Accelerators (ACC)

particle accelerator propels charged particles, such as protons or electrons, close to the speed of light. They are then smashed either onto a target or against other particles circulating in the opposite direction. By studying these collisions, physicists are able to probe the world of the infinitely small.

How does an accelerator work?

Accelerators use electromagnetic fields to accelerate and steer particles. Radiofrequency cavities boost the particle beams, while magnets focus the beams and bend their trajectory. In a circular accelerator, the particles repeat the same circuit for as long as necessary, getting an energy boost at each turn. In theory, the energy could be increased over and over again. However, the more energy the particles have, the more powerful the magnetic fields have to be to keep them in their circular orbit. A linear accelerator, on the contrary, is exclusively formed of accelerating structures since the particles do not need to be deflected, but they only benefit from a single acceleration pass. In this case, increasing the energy means increasing the length of the accelerator.

Muon Collider: US set to join the international collaboration study

In December 2023, the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel made strong recommendations for the future muon collider, boosting the international muon collider collaboration.

Issue 47
08 May, 2024

Muon g-2 experiment blurs distinction between accelerator and particle physics

Importance of accelerator science and detailed knowledge about the beam dynamics for the breakthrough Muon g-2 experiment.

Issue 45
18 September, 2023

Accelerator physicists win Enrico Fermi Prize 2023

The 2023 Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society (SIF) has been awarded to Massimo Ferrario, Lucio Rossi and Frank Zimmermann for their outstanding contributions to accelerator technologies.

Issue 44
01 July, 2023

Simon van der Meer Early Career Award in Novel Accelerators

Sponsored by the European Network for Novel Accelerators, the Simon van der Meer Award recognises outstanding early career contributions (theoretical, experimental, computational or technical) in novel accelerator science

Issue 43
11 April, 2023

Multiple energy recycling in a linear accelerator

Through ingenious kinetic energy recycling in combination with a multi-turn acceleration concept, electric power can be saved while, at the same time, high-power particle beams can be provided.

Issue 43
14 March, 2023

Tunable permanent magnets for sustainable particle accelerators

Aimed at reducing the energy use of accelerator facilities, the Zero Power Tunable Optics project demonstrated the replacement of resistive electromagnets with permanent ones whilst retaining field strength adjustability.

Issue 42
07 December, 2022

The miniature accelerator: dream or reality?

To look into the atomic and subatomic structure of materials and cells, future industry will need ever-smaller accelerators.

Issue 41
26 September, 2022

AWAKE sows the seeds of controlled particle acceleration using plasma wakefields

The AWAKE collaboration has successfully seeded the self-modulation of a proton bunch, to control and stabilise plasma waves that can accelerate electrons with record gradients

Issue 41
15 September, 2022

A new concept of using THz radiation for electron acceleration

Inverse design and additive manufacturing have enabled scientists to develop a new concept for generating THz radiation

Issue 40
10 June, 2022

Data Intensive Science and Particle Accelerators: Driving Science and Innovation

Liverpool Physics awarded £1.3M for new STFC data science training centre

Issue 40
01 June, 2022