Center for Bright Beams receives $ 22 million grant
ITHACA, NY – A Cornell-led research collaboration has received $ 22.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue to acquire the foundational knowledge needed to transform the brightness of electron beams available to science, medicine and industry.
The Center for Bright Beams (CBB), an NSF science and technology hub was established in November 2016 with a first prize of $ 23 million to Cornell and partner institutions. The center integrates accelerator science with condensed matter physics, materials science and surface science for the advancement of particle accelerator technologies.
This knowledge will help improve the performance and reduce the cost of accelerator technologies around the world and develop new research instruments that transform the frontiers of biology, materials science, condensed matter physics, particle physics and nuclear physics, as well as new manufacturing tools that allow chipmakers to further reduce the characteristics of integrated circuits.
“Currently, all of these scientific and industrial instruments are limited by the brightness of their beams,” said Ritchie Patterson, director of the Center for Bright Beams and Helen T. Edwards professor of physics at the College of Arts and Sciences. “The CBB is the only center in the world that brings together an interdisciplinary approach to address the critical challenges limiting the science of accelerators. This renewed funding will help us build on our successes to date, which have benefited tremendously from our collaborative approach.
The center is based at Cornell’s Laboratory for Accelerator-based ScienceS and Education (CLASSE), and includes scientists from Cornell’s departments of physics, applied physics and engineering, and chemistry and chemical biology, as well as scientists from seven other universities and three national laboratories. . The CBB is organized into three interrelated research themes related to beam production, acceleration, dynamics and control. These themes combine to focus on creating smaller, brighter electron beams.
Since 2016, CBB’s research has resulted in an electron source with a size and divergence ten times smaller than common sources in use today. This will open up new avenues for drug design by allowing biologists studying the structure and dynamics of individual molecules to reduce their data collection time by 90%.
The center has also created new methods of beam acceleration that match current performance but are much easier to use. CBB’s high-field superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavities will cut construction costs for the largest accelerators by up to billions of dollars by reducing the length of tunnels and the number of cavities. Relaxed cavity operating temperatures will simplify cryogenics, making beams more accessible to universities and industry, or “one beam in every basement.”
There are approximately 30,000 industrial and medical accelerators in operation today, with annual sales of $ 3.5 billion. David Muller, director of knowledge transfer at CBB in Phase I, and Samuel B. Eckert professor of engineering at the School of Applied and Engineering Physics, said the centre’s research aimed to increase that number as beams brighter ones would bring new abilities.
“With this new round of funding, CBB will continue the most productive research to achieve even higher brightness,” said Muller, “and we will prepare these methods for accelerators used by chipmakers and industry leaders, as well as by smaller research institutes. “
For more than a century, major advances in physics, chemistry and biology have resulted from experiments in diffusion, imaging, spectroscopy and beam collisions. But in order to see something new you have to do something new, and these experiments are now becoming more and more dependent on time-resolved information, which makes it possible to make films such as actual films of molecular machines in the world. job. Examples of other advanced methods dependent on advances in particle beams include beams for tumor treatment, electron microscopes capable of imaging individual atoms, platelet metrology instruments, and the Large Hadron Collider.
As the CBB continues to make significant progress in the field of particle accelerators, its greatest impact could be the result of training future scientists in electron beam technology.
“These large-scale colliders, intense X-ray sources, and electron microscopes are essential tools for science and industry, but the United States educates few students to understand the bright electron beams it depends on. to be successful, “said Melissa Hines, Associate Director. from the CBB and professor of chemistry (A&S). “Our graduate students are helping close this gap, and about half of CBB’s students are in areas that the Department of Energy has identified as areas of critical need. Our most important output will almost certainly be the large number of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, most of whom will have a big impact in a variety of different fields.
CBB also includes Arizona State University; Brigham Young University; University of Northern Illinois; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Chicago; University of Florida; University of New Mexico; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and its affiliates in other institutions.
The NSF Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships program supports innovative and potentially transformative research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term rewards. The centers promote cutting-edge research, the education of the next generations of scientists and a wide dissemination of the knowledge and technologies produced.
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