Berkeley Lab

ATAP News, December 2023


Director’s Corner

Cameron Geddes, ATAP Division Director

Cameron Geddes

In the last ATAP Newsletter for 2023, read about the recently released P5 Report, which outlines a pathway for particle physics over the next decade, exciting new research that aims to deepen our understanding of laser-driven inertial fusion energy, modeling that could advance the development of more powerful magnets, and a significant milestone in the Large Hadron Collider upgrade.

Released on December 8, the 2023 P5 Report is a ten-year roadmap for federal investments in particle physics and cosmology. This roadmap includes strong support for accelerators, with the expansion of R&D on advanced accelerator technologies, and funding for collider studies aimed at both a near-term “Higgs factory” and a future 10-TeV class parton center-of-momentum collider based on muon, proton, or plasma wakefield technologies; all of which are closely aligned with ATAP’s core capabilities and strengths. This will mean maximizing the use of advanced test facilities like the BELLA Centre and the development of future facilities like kBELLA, as well as advanced modeling and superconducting magnet R&D.

I was honored to serve on this panel and look forward to an exciting decade for particle physics and accelerators.

Researchers at ATAP’s Accelerator Modeling Program are leading the development of next-generation algorithms to better model and simulate the microphysics of laser-driven inertial fusion energy. The technology uses powerful, high-intensity lasers to fuse deuterium-tritium atoms, promising almost unlimited carbon-free energy. The work is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Scientific Discovery Through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program.

In a collaboration between ATAP’s Superconducting Magnet Program and the Politecnico di Torino in Italy, scientists have modeled the behavior of superconducting cables made from rare-earth barium copper oxide. The work is advancing the development of superconducting magnets capable of generating fields of 20 tesla or beyond and could lead to increasingly powerful particle accelerators and colliders for discovery science and applications in medical diagnosis and fusion.

November saw a major milestone in the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider Accelerator Upgrade Project when the first superconducting magnets based on niobium-tin technology arrived at CERN. These magnets, which can produce much stronger magnetic fields to create more focused particle beams, promise discoveries in high energy and particle physics. The milestone results from a multi-year partnership between Berkeley Lab, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Florida State University, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

As part of our education and outreach activities, Alex Picksley, a research scientist at BELLA, mentored an undergraduate student from Arizona State University (ASU) under the ASU-Berkeley Lab STEM Pathways program. The program aims to develop and foster educational pathways for undergraduate Indigenous students in STEM subjects.

We celebrated Native American Heritage Month, or as it is often called, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, in November. The month recognizes and honors the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and significant contributions Native Americans have and continue to make to our nation.

Also in November, we celebrated Veterans Day, when we honor and pay tribute to our veterans and active duty service members, reservists, and national guards for their sacrifice, bravery, and service to the nation.

And in our last ALL-to-ALL divisional meeting of the year, BELLA Center Research Scientist Thorsten Hellert presented a revealing and thought-provoking talk on a recent study that found gender differences in uncertainty words in academic papers.

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Written by Carl A. Williams or other authors as credited.

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