The Italian Future of Accelerators
Interview with Lucio Rossi, INFN researcher and professor at the University of Milan, coordinator of INFN Accelerators Committee
Right from their first appearance in the sector dedicated to studying the ultimate constituents of matter, particle accelerators have shown a profound propensity for finding a position, often central, in disciplinary fields other than fundamental physics. An emblematic case of this fertile transfer of technologies is surely the medical field that, from as early as the 1950s, has made use of accelerators in treating tumours. Examples of similar successes also punctuate the experience of INFN. These occur precisely in research aimed at promoting the transfer of technologies, created in the field of accelerator physics, towards the already mentioned medical sector and other ones too, such as those dedicated to the production and distribution of power and the preservation of the artistic heritage.
While remaining strategic for particle physics, the accelerator sector, as its history shows, is thus destined to hold an increasingly central role in external environments and also in the context of relaunching our country’s economy, especially in light of future challenges that it will be called upon to face. On the one hand, the physics of accelerators will need, in fact, to measure itself against the guidelines traced by the updating of the European Strategy for Particle Physics Update (ESPPU) for the post-LHC future, which involves developing innovative machines and technologies. On the other hand, it will need to implement and capitalise on the two projects led by INFN funded by Italy's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) that promote research linked to the development of accelerators. For these reasons, starting from 2021, INFN set up an Accelerators Committee, which has the task of connecting communities of INFN's accelerator experts and its various institutes and laboratories. Lucio Rossi, professor at the University of Milan and researcher at the INFN Milan Division - LASA Laboratory - and former head of the High Luminosity LHC project at CERN, will coordinate the committee.