Alexandra Alexandrova, LA3NET fellow, and Prof Carsten Welsch

Lasers and accelerators symposium set to inspire says Cockcroft scientist

By Anna Masefield - 18 June 2015

From the deepest secrets of the universe to the latest applications in healthcare, materials and drug development, there will be something to interest everyone at the ‘Lasers & Accelerators for Science and Society’ symposium on 26th June 2015, and those not able to attend will have access via a webcast.

There is a shortage of engineers and scientists with skills in this exciting area, and industry is keen that young people consider it as a career.

Professor Carsten Welsch, Head of the Liverpool Accelerator Physics Group at the Cockcroft Institute in Daresbury, an internationally renowned centre for accelerator science and technology, says that the symposium aims to inspire people with the possibilities of this rapidly evolving science.

He says: “Accelerator science is a young discipline and the people pushing back the frontiers of knowledge are also often only in their twenties. There are real opportunities not only to discover something new but also to see its application in healthcare or industry within a relatively short time-frame.”

Prof. Welsch is hoping that meeting real scientists involved in blue-sky and applied research will lift the ambitions of students.

He has been leading three pan-European programmes, which are creating fellows with vital skills in particle acceleration, beam technologies and laser science. Fellows from two of the programmes – oPAC (optimization of particle accelerators), and LA3NET (lasers for applications at accelerator facilities) – will be presenting their results in a poster session.


Speakers at the symposium

Accelerating Researcher Careers – Prof. Carsten Welsch, Head of the Liverpool Accelerator Physics Group at the Cockcroft Institute , provides an overview of recent developments.

Particle Accelerators - Engines of Discovery - Prof. Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Programmes for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), will talk about the applications of particle accelerators.

Accelerating Ions to Beat Cancer - Prof. Katia Parodi, Head of Medical Physics at the Ludwig Maximilians University, will be discussing how image-guided radiotheraphy can provide precise targeting of tumours while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.

Unravelling the Secrets of the Universe – Prof. Brian Cox, University of Manchester, will describe how curiosity-driven science pays for itself, powering innovation and a profound appreciation of our existence.

Pathway from Particles to Light - Dr. Ralph W. Aßmann, leading scientist at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Germany, is working on the new accelerator technologies and will be talking what the implications are for lasers.

Bringing Light into Research - Prof. Victor Malka, Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée (LOA), Palaiseau, France, will be describing how plasma accelerators offer the opportunity to create highly compact accelerators. These will have new properties, such as providing a new tool for ultra-fast time-resolved science.

Attoscience – Exploring Nature on Shortest Time-scales - Prof. Marc J.J. Vrakking, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy, Berlin, Germany. Attoscience is exploring the fastest physical events and providing new insights into nuclear dynamics within the molecule and its electron structure.

If you would like to find out more there will be an opportunity to follow the talks via webcast:


Image shows LA3NET Fellow Alexandra Alexandrova (left) talking to Prof. Carsten Welsch (right), about her project to measure velocity using lasers; watch this video to find out more.

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