New Modeling/Data Analysis/Visualization Toolkit Speeds Simulations, Design
Particle accelerators are on the verge of transformational breakthroughs—and advances in computing power and techniques are a big part of the reason.
Long valued for their role in scientific discovery and in medical and industrial applications such as cancer treatment, food sterilization and drug development, particle accelerators, unfortunately, occupy a lot of space and carry hefty price tags. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN in France and Switzerland, for example—the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator—has a circumference of 17 miles and cost $10 billion to build. Even smaller accelerators, such as those used in medical centers for proton therapy, need large spaces to accommodate the hardware, power supplies and radiation shielding. Such treatment facilities typically fill a city block and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build.
But efforts are under way to make this technology more affordable and accessible by shrinking both the size and the cost without losing the capability. One of the most exciting developments is the plasma accelerator, which uses lasers or particle beams rather than radio-frequency waves to generate the accelerating field. Researchers have already shown the potential for laser plasma acceleration to yield significantly more-compact accelerators. But further development is needed before these devices—envisioned as almost literally “tabletop” in many useful applications—make their way into everyday use.
Laser wakefield particle accelerators offer the prospect of less costly and much smaller accelerators. Using the waves created by a laser shot through plasma they “surf” particles to higher speeds (or energies). This simulation shows how a single electron rides a wave, helping researchers build and refine these new machines. (Courtesy: Jean-Luc Vay, Berkeley Lab)
This is where advanced visualization tools and supercomputers such as NERSC’s Edison and Cori systems come in.
“To take full advantage of the societal benefits of particle accelerators, game-changing improvements are needed in the size and cost of accelerators, and plasma-based particle accelerators stand apart in their potential for these improvements,” said Jean-Luc Vay, a senior physicist in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division (ATAP).
Vay is leading a particle accelerator modeling project as part of the NESAP program at Berkeley Lab’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and is the principal investigator on one of the new exascale computing projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “Turning this from a promising technology into a mainstream scientific tool depends critically on large-scale, high-performance, high-fidelity modeling of complex processes that develop over a wide range of space and time scales,” he said.
Learn more: The Incredible Shrinking Particle Accelerator
The Latest on: Particle Accelerator
via Google News
The Latest on: Particle Accelerator
- IBA, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and the University of Washington engage in a bench-to-bedside research program for FLASH Proton Therapyon August 1, 2022 at 10:00 pm
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), the world leader in particle accelerator technology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, announced a multi-year ...
- Fact check: Scientists at CERN are not opening a 'portal to hell'on July 29, 2022 at 8:47 am
Scientists at CERN restarted the Large Hadron Collider in April, but this machine cannot open up portals to other dimensions as some online claim.
- How the Standard Model of Particle Physics Explains Reality as We Know Iton July 29, 2022 at 5:38 am
From the outside, the high-speed collisions of atomic nuclei inside particle accelerators like CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may seem like they have very little in common with more mundane ...
- Physics Particles Fly as Practical Toolson July 29, 2022 at 4:10 am
Protons, muons, neutrinos and other particles are moving beyond the realm of physics to help in a myriad of ways ...
- Helen Edwards: pioneer of Fermilab’s Tevatronon July 28, 2022 at 2:59 am
Helen Edwards was a formidable force in the field of accelerator science. Anita Chandran finds out more about her contributions to particle physics ...
- A new book about 12 experiments that changed the world sidelines the role of beautiful theory in physicson July 26, 2022 at 1:04 pm
The Matter of Everything is a partial account of the history of physics, which leaves out a lot, including the story of some key women scientists.
- DARPA Wants to Create Subatomic Particles That Can Peer Through Concreteon July 25, 2022 at 5:50 am
The United States' military has announced it is seeking to create powerful subatomic particle beams that would enable personnel to "see" through walls tens of yards thick and even peer deep ...
- A promising cancer treatment, made in Lansing with particle acceleratorson July 23, 2022 at 8:45 am
Actinium-225 holds huge promise as a cancer treatment but barely exists in nature. The Lansing company Niowave has begun producing it with a superconducting linear accelerator.
- Machine learning paves the way for smarter particle acceleratorson July 18, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Their work could help lead to the development of new and improved particle accelerators that will help scientists unlock the secrets of the subatomic world. Daniele Filippetto and colleagues at ...
via Bing News