Russia to launch compact collider
Russian designers have created a pilot model of a desktop laser collider which will be able to accelerate charged particles with greater speed than the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and will have a far greater range of application options.
The project of a desktop collider was born at the Lebedev Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences as a result of joint effort from the Institute’s researchers and their colleagues from the Moscow State University. The compact laser generates a very short but extremely powerful energy impulse with the resulting electro-magnetic fields hitting levels unreachable even during explosions of supernovas in the Universe.
Professor Andrei Saveliev-Trofimov told a Voice of Russia correspondent that the new accelerator’s main asset is its compactness.
"A plasma accelerator can create an accelerating field which exceeds that obtained on the Large Hadron Collider three, four or fivefold. This means a far smaller size, with acceleration of electrons taking place on a space of one centimeter or less. The laser system is fairly small occupying 20-30 square meters."
Unlike the Large Hadron Collider, a desktop collider has a wide area of application, Professor Saveliev-Trofimov says.
"Compact laser colliders would come handy for the initial acceleration of particles in the Large Hadron Collider. In medicine, they can be used for treating cancer tumors with proton beams. Laser can accelerate proton beams to hundreds of megaelectronvolt."
Proton beams can also be used for studying nuclear fission and running isotopes. And in astrophysics, they can be used for modeling supernova flares or meteorite collisions with planets.
Professor Saveliev-Trofimov and his colleagues are getting down to work to study the influence of space radiation on spacecraft-borne electronics, which is crucial for the smooth functioning of a space ship.
Foreign experts say that the creation of a desktop collider in Russia has paved the way for a new trend in physics. Scientists are now planning to create a center of high-energy physics with powerful compact laser as its key element. This center will be built on the compounds of the Lebedev Physics Institute within a year.