Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Accelerating science with Fermilab

STFC and Fermilab (link opens in a new window) are keen to look at transferring technology developed for particle physics into other applications such as intense proton accelerators that could be used for reducing radioactive waste or security scanning.

At a joint workshop in Chicago on 14 January 2012, STFC signed a Letter of Intent with Fermilab in which the two organisations agreed joint goals and activities in the development high intensity proton accelerators.

The UK accelerator community has been successfully collaborating with Fermilab for many years, particularly in muon accelerators for neutron factories and muon colliders. One such example is the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. This experiment is demonstrating technology essential for the development of a future neutrino factory.

The next generation of proton accelerators will open up new opportunities for very high power particle beams across broad energy ranges. Compact accelerators are set to make particle therapy more widely available to cancer patients. Through accelerator driven sub-critical nuclear reactors, accelerator science can make a significant contribution to low-carbon energy. And in ports and airports, accelerator science will be used in cargo-scanning systems.

To deliver these goals, the Letter of Intent covers the exchange of expertise and ideas through a variety of staff exchanges and joint collaborations. Developing long term joint strategies and shared capabilities will be a key step.

The Letter of Intent, signed by STFC Chief Executive Officer, Professor John Womersley and Fermilab Director, Dr Pier Oddone, also expresses a desire to initiate graduate student exchanges and training.

STFC and Fermilab plan to hold another workshop in 12 months to review progress and explore additional areas of collaboration.

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