Particle accelerators have become unique tools for scientists and industrialists. They are applied to many problems, from the study of the basic structure of matter, through the treatment of cancer, to the development of potential new methods of generating energy. The development and application of accelerators has been driven by regular innovations of technology, giving an order of magnitude increase, every decade, in the final energy of the particles.
Accelerators are widely used and directly contribute to the wealth and health of nations. They have become very sophisticated tools, used both directly to probe and image matter, and indirectly as radiation sources where ultra-short pulse incoherent or coherent X-rays can now used to probe the structure of matter on many length and time scales.
The latest, or next-generation accelerators, are based on new media such as plasma waves driven by lasers and new configurations of circular accelerators such as the fixed field alternating gradient accelerator. Part of the motivation for developing these new tools has been to make accelerators more compact and less expensive, but also to provide high energy particles with unique and useful properties, such as ultrashort duration, high current and high reliability.
The Centre for Doctoral training builds on the successes of three Basic Technology Projects to develop and apply next generation accelerators to address the grand societal challenges and needs in energy, health and national security. The consortia members are world leaders in their fields and have access to internationally competitive facilities.