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National conference on particle accelerators begins today

09 Jul 2010

The director general of CERN will be presenting the recent exciting results from the Large Hadron Collider at a meeting at The University of Manchester today.

Sam Tygier and James Garland working on the EMMA project
Sam Tygier and James Garland working on the EMMA project

Professor Rolf Heuer will address the meeting of the UK's particle accelerator community, which brings together representatives from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

Held under the auspices of the Institute of Physics, the Particle Accelerators and Beams Group 2010 meeting is being organised by accelerator scientists working in the School of Physics and Astronomy, and who are also part of the Cockcroft Institute for Accelerator Science and Technology.

The meeting brings together scientists across every science and technology discipline needed to develop particle accelerator technology, to present the results of recent UK research, discuss future strategy, and to develop collaborations.

This year, Professor Heuer will present the results of commissioning the LHC – the world's largest particle accelerator – which is intended to produce and measure the properties of the Higgs particle, the most sought-after missing piece in the standard model of particle physics.

Physicist and The University of Manchester rock star scientist Professor Brian Cox carries out much of his research at CERN.

As well as making subatomic collisions to probe the basic laws of physics, particle accelerators today underpin many areas of science and technology.

University of Manchester researchers are working on a new kind of particle accelerator called EMMA, presently being built nearby at Daresbury Laboratory, which will help understand how to make better radiotherapy accelerators for cancer treatment, and to develop accelerator-driven reactors, which can use different fuel more efficiently and safely.

The work of students Sam Tygier and Jimmy Garland on particle transport in accelerators like EMMA is helping to show how future accelerators can be built more cheaply but with higher intensity, which is needed not just for medicine and accelerator-driven reactors, but also for a future generation of accelerators for fundamental studies in neutrino physics.

This work is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Roger Barlow, head of accelerator physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: "The fact that Manchester is hosting the national meeting with international speakers show how far and how fast the newly formed accelerator group has come, and the level of recognition that we have achieved."

Meeting Chairman and ex-director of accelerator science at STFC Mike Poole said: “The UK has always been in the vanguard of particle accelerator developments, and the close collaboration of university teams and national laboratory staff continues to give us scientific and technical advantages in our R&D programmes.”

Notes for editors

The Institute of Physics' Particle Accelerators and Beams (PAB) Group is the independent professional body representing accelerator science in the UK. The Cockcroft Institute is one of the UK's two national institutes for particle accelerator science and technology, and is a collaboration involving the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster, and Liverpool with STFC.

Further information on the PAB group can be obtained at or by emailing Further information about the Cockcroft Institute can be found at Conference details may be found at