TIARA : Test Infrastructure and Accelerator Research Area

Test Infrastructure and Accelerator Research Area
Preparatory Phase

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Scientific and applied fields using accelerators


Scientific and applied fields using accelerators


Many different fields require state-of-the-art accelerators, from fundamental and basic research to scientific, clinical and industrial applications. The technical requirements include a broad range of energy1, intensities and probes. We indicate those fields below and specify briefly the main requirements in terms of accelerators.    


Accelerators for Basic Science


Particle Physics



The study of particle physics requires the use of very high energy and/or high intensity accelerators or colliders with electron (positron), muon, neutrino, proton (antiproton) beam. The most recent machine of this type is the LHC, the Large Hadron Collider, put in operation at CERN in 2010, designed to accelerate and collide two proton beams up to 7 TeV, but also heavy ion beams.



Image credit:CERNlhc.jpg

Hadronic and Nuclear Physics



The study of matter states requires low/medium energy and/or high intensity accelerators or colliders with electron/positron, proton/antiproton and light to heavy ion beams. CEBAF, in USA, has been in operation for several years, and is now under upgrade for energy increase. Spiral 2, in France, and FAIR, in Germany, are two projects under construction.



Image credit: GSI


Light sources



Many studies on condensed or solid state physics, biology, geology, human sciences require the use of low/medium energy and high intensity electron accelerators. Among the many projects in operation, SOLEIL, in France, and DIAMOND in UK, are two of the most recent synchrotron radiation facilities XFEL, in Germany, is under construction, and will be the most powerful Free Electron Laser in the world.



Image credit: Synchrotron SOLEIL


Neutron sources



The development of neutron spallation sources requires medium energy and high intensity proton accelerators. ISIS, in UK, is now in operation. The very challenging European project ESS is under development. 



Image credit: RAL, STFC



Accelerators for Energy


Material irradiation for fusion reactors



The study of material for fusion reactors will be carried out with medium energy and high intensity deuteron accelerators. In the frame of ITER broader approach, the project IFMIF-EVEDA is the  prototype of the accelerator foreseen for irradiation of materials to be used in post-ITER reactors


IFMIF-EVEDA cryomodule

Image credit: CEA/IRFU/SACM

IFMIF-EVEDA cryomodule


Development of transmutation reactors  



The transmutation of radioactive waste requires medium energy and high intensity proton accelerators. The principle is to generate neutrons from a target hit by the proton beam. The interactions of neutrons with the long-live isotopes extracted from fission reactors, transmute them in more manageable isotopes. Such a concept of an accelerator driven system (ADS) is developed in the MYRRHA project.


MYRRHA project

Image credit: MYRRHA, SCK•CEN



Accelerators for Medecine


Production of radio-isotopes



Accelerators of different size, mainly low-energy cyclotrons, have been used for a long time for the production of radio-isotopes. New possibilities of radio-isotopes production based on spallation-induced neutron irradiation and electron beams are also under study



Image credit: IBA


Beam Therapy



A large number of medical accelerators are used to treat cancers. The vast majority of these are electron linear accelerators. However, low energy proton or ion accelerators are also used to cure cancer tumours, which are difficult to treat by conventional means. This field of hadrontherapy is in full development, in Asia, Europe and USA.


Gantry at PSI

Image credit: PSI



Industrial accelerators


Although less known than the other applications, there is a large range of industrial applications using accelerators. Low energy electron, proton and ion accelerators are used for ion implantation for the semiconductor industry, electron cutting and welding, electron beam and X-ray irradiators, nondestructive testing and imaging, ion beam analysis, food sterilization, medical sterilization….


A typical ion implanter

Image credit:  Case Technology INC.ion_implantation.png

1For the sake of simplicity, we arbitrarily define low-energy (< 1GeV), medium-energy (> 1 GeV and < 100 GeV) and high-energy (>100 GeV)














#19 - Last update : 26/06/2013
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