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The year of new projects

The 2015 have been a year of many new projects for JAI team. Early this month the JAI team has gathered for a JAI Fest – a one-day meeting where we have reviewed our progress.

The JAI Fest is our traditional yearly event, organized as an informal, scientific family style, meeting where the talks are presented mostly by our graduate students. We started this tradition in 2011 and typically had this event in October. Starting this year, the “JAI Octoberfest” is moved to December, following recommendation of the JAI Advisory Board, to make it more accessible for the 1-st year graduate students.


Caption: Photos from Dec 10, 2015 JAI Fest event – a scientific family style meeting, where presentations were mostly done by JAI graduate students. Around fifty people from three universities attended the event.

Among the new initiatives the JAI engaged this year, there are a number of cutting edge European projects, joint work with industry, new training approaches, further enhanced collaboration with Cockcroft Institute.

Continuing its development of international collaborations with world leading centres, JAI has recently engaged in a number of front line EU projects.


Caption: The illustration demonstrates capability of the GEANT-based code BDSIM, developed in JAI/RHUL, for modelling of beam loss, beam collimation and background generation and handling in colliders. This code will be used for detailed technical design of HL-LHC as well as for FCC design studies.

First of all, the High-Luminosity LHC project, which after several years of design study has moved into the next phase, development of the prototypes for various parts of the accelerator. The JAI, and in particular the JAI/RHUL team will be engaged in HL-LHC work package devoted to detailed design of the upgraded LHC insertions for a low beta optics, where careful calculations of the beam losses will be done using all realistic imperfections. The studies will be performed by a set of codes including the JAI/RHUL developed GEANT-based code BDSIM.

The Future Circular Collider (FCC) is a conceptual design study for post-LHC particle accelerator options in a global context. The JAI contribution to FCC is supported by the EU funded project EuroCirCol and is focused on the design of the experimental interaction region (EIR) for FCC-hh option. The JAI/Oxford team is responsible for overall coordination of the EIR work package and for design of the EIR optics. The FCC project is an international collaboration of many tens of institutions worldwide. We will work with many partners in Europe and worldwide. Work on FCC will be undertaken in close collaboration of the entire JAI team, where in particular, the JAI/RHUL team will contribute the experience of use of the BDSIM code for energy deposition studies in hadron colliders.

The EuPRAXIA project (European Plasma Research Accelerator with eXcellence in Applications) has been launched in November of 2015, aimed at producing a conceptual design report for the worldwide first 5 GeV plasma-based electron accelerator with industrial beam quality and dedicated user areas suitable for a novel free-electron laser, high-energy physics and other applications. The JAI/Oxford team will be responsible for designing a beam line and its user area for high energy physics and other applications while the JAI/Imperial team will be engaged in design and development of the high gradient plasma acceleration structure. Similarly as for all other projects mentioned above, the JAI engagement in EuPRAXIA is benefiting from strong synergic connections of JAI teams in the three universities.

The JAI is continuing its world-class efforts in graduate training in accelerator science. We are constantly developing and improving our courses, to stay ahead of the game, introducing better synergy with plasma and laser courses, and experimenting with the elements of lessons of inventiveness in our courses.


Caption: JAI students with accelerator experts in the LHC Control Room, on the day they will make a presentation at CERN on the FCC design project. June 5, 2015.

One of the key elements of our graduate education is the student’s design project, which all the 1-st year graduate students undertake as a whole team. This year, the students were designing the Future Circular Collider.

During the 8-week long study, the JAI students have looked at many aspects of FCC design. The physics reach of such a machine was explored, as were potential lattice, magnet and RF designs, along with the impact of synchrotron radiation and various instabilities. The main focus of the project was to look at existing design ideas for the FCC and assess the possibility of varying the aperture size and dipole magnet materials in the hope of reducing costs.

Having presented the results of the study to JAI staff and then, on 9 April 2015, to JAI Advisory Board, our graduate students undertaken a trip to Geneva to present a study they carried out on FCC at CERN. Physicists including Michael Benedikt, Daniel Schulte, Frank Zimmermann, Bernhard Holzer and many other were present to hear the design proposals and offer the students expert feedback on their work. Engaging in cutting edge projects, and opportunity of interacting with top experts in the field was always the biggest strength of such students’ design projects.


Caption: Award ceremony of the EAAC-2015 best student’s poster competition. JAI’s Robert Shalloo (University of Oxford) is second from the left.

The JAI academic staff is always pleased to see that our graduate students excel in their training and future career. Our alumni work in the leading labs and institutions all over the world. Earlier this autumn, we were pleased to see that JAI/Oxford student Robert Shalloo was among the winners of the EAAC-2015 best student’s poster competition.

Our novel approaches to teaching extent to our outreach activities too. Our traditional and annual APPEAL event for high school teachers have been expanded this year, to include a one-week course on accelerator technology given to a cohort of teachers from Greece. In addition to rather standard lectures on accelerators we have included into this course a quite novel element – several hours of lectures and tutorials on inventiveness delivered jointly with the Oxford Creativity. This turn out to be a very positive experience that we plan to repeat and expand.


Caption: Photos from JAI’s APPEAL school of July 2015, tutorials on inventiveness by Oxford Creativity and a tour to FMB-Oxford.

The JAI has continuing strong collaboration with Cockcroft Institute. We have doing even more this year, with established cross-representation on JAI and CI Advisory Boards, plans for joint advanced graduate course, scientific project initiatives. Together, JAI and Cockcroft, will continue to strengthen our field and enhance the positive impact of accelerator science and technology.


Caption: Director of Cockcroft Institute Prof Peter Ratoff and Director of JAI Andrei Seryi at ESS construction site in Lund on 4 December 2015.