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Entering 2015 for me was like setting foot into a new era. Is it because of an improved economic scenario, at least from what it looks like on this side of the ocean? Is it the sense of renewed scope in our HEP community from the P5 (Particle Physics Project and Prioritization Panel) strategic plan of last year? We had somewhat floated in limbo since our beloved proton/anti-proton collider, the Tevatron, was shut down at Fermilab only a few years ago. We were beaten by our European friends in the race to find the Higgs boson. Gone was the glamour of big discoveries like the top quark. A sunny vision of the future helped revive a positive atmosphere in my workplace. Or maybe it’s just the weather.
Like most professional fields Science and Technology are now global. Globalization is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and other aspects of culture. Advances in transportation and telecommunications, including the rise of the Internet, favored this process by feeding into a generating cycle of further interdependence of economic and cultural activities. Globalization has carried with it a number of negative attributes. For instance, environmental challenges and pollution are linked with globalization. However, the good news is that globalizing processes affect and are affected by business and work organization, economics, socio-cultural resources, and the natural environment. Therefore we can have an impact on this process and make it fruitful for us. While globalization encompasses all under its wings, Science and Technology have become ever more specialized. How can we foster creativity, excellence and innovation into one small specialized slice of science or technology, while at the same time being bombarded by globalization storms? We cannot do without specialization at the core of technological innovation. But perhaps we can use the same tools that made globalization so strong to build and operate an even stronger network of scientific and technological cooperation among different disciplines. Science has no borders and as such has often offered a venue for peace among Nations. This is what many of us are already doing and what our leaders at the Department of Energy support.
At our last Fermilab’s Users Meeting in June 2014, Jim Siegrist, Associate Director of the Office of High Energy Physics, DoE Office of Science, illustrated the potential for HEP Science and Technology Connections. The strength of the US enterprise is a significant advantage for HEP and its relevance strongly depends on taking advantage of the technical opportunities presented by our sister sciences. Community support around those connections, as well as better planning, cooperation and organizing, were encouraged to have the largest impact either in HEP or in the allied fields. Since then, Fermilab has actively worked in this direction by creating bridges between different communities outside and inside HEP.
As an HEP overture to this dialogue with other Science disciplines in the broad field of Instrumentation, our Director Nigel Lockyer will attend the IEEE International Instrumentation and Technology Conference, I2MTC in Pisa, Italy, May 11-14, 2015. Instrumentation was one of the main areas in the P5 recommendations, both for what is related to R&D and for strengthening university-national laboratory partnerships. In his Conference keynote speech, Lockyer will emphasize how the measurement technologies developed for particle physics could be transferred to other sectors of science and technology, including medicine, manufacturing and energy production. Hopefully the audience will realize the great social impact that an effective technology transfer from HEP to other fields of science could have. Also, this year, in addition to standard sessions the I2MTC Conference will include a Special Session on “Superconducting Sensors and Instrumentation” co-chaired by Dr. Marcel Demarteau of Argonne National Laboratory and myself. The first invited speaker of our special session will be CERN Research Director Dr. Sergio Bertolucci.Below is our Special Session abstract:
Superconducting materials have found a wide range of applications in science and society. Their unique properties and exquisite sensitivity have been exploited in many science disciplines. Superconductivity is used in detectors for dark matter, for the cosmic microwave background radiation and for national security purposes. Superconducting magnets and RF structures are at the heart of most particle accelerators for fundamental science, as well as accelerators for medical isotope production and ion therapy treatment. Superconductivity is also being explored for use in biosensors and quantum computing. This special session seeks to understand the state-of-the-art of the technology in the various applications, how the technology can be exploited through better instrumentation and how different science disciplines can contribute to advancing and accelerating the use of these sensors.
Technology connections within HEP by enriching the dialogue between experimental particle physicists and scientists in accelerator technology will be discussed at the “Frontier Detectors for Frontier Physics” (FDFP) Pisa Meeting, 24-30 May 2015, at La Biodola, Isola d’Elba (Italy). The 2015 Pisa Meeting on Instrumentation is the thirteenth of a series initiated in Tirrenia in 1980 and continued in Castiglione della Pescaia and in La Biodola. The meeting is sponsored by the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the Società Italiana di Fisica (SIF), the European Physical Society (EPS), the University of Pisa and the University of Siena. An aim of the meeting is to review the progress in detector technology with emphasis on applications in future experiments.
For the first time in its history, the FDFP Meeting has included a topic on “Applied Superconductivity in HEP”. The field is fully mature and is receiving increasing interest by HEP researchers. In the last decade there has been strong progress in implementing Nb3Sn superconductor in high field accelerator magnets. The use of High Temperature Superconductors is also becoming possible. In the process of upgrading the LHC and in conceiving future HEP accelerators and detectors, the HEP community is investing as never before in high field technologies. This creative process involves the US, Europe, Japan and other Asian countries. One dedicated element is the Center for Integrated Engineering Research being created at Fermilab. This Center would promote interdisciplinary collaboration and greater efficiency in designing, developing, building, commissioning and operating accelerator and detector facilities for particle physics. For the FDFP session on Applied Superconductivity, we invite oral and poster abstract contributions by March 15 in the following areas at http://www.pi.infn.it/pm/: Detector magnets; High field magnets; Superconducting links; Superconducting Magnet Instrumentation; Superconductors in accelerators and experiments; Superconducting RF cavities.
Italy is productive soil to sow knowledge in scientific disciplines. Since 1984 Fermilab has been hosting a two-month summer training program for selected undergraduate and graduate Italian students in physics and engineering. Building on the traditional close collaboration between the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and Fermilab, the program is supported by INFN, by the DoE and by the Scuola Superiore di Sant`Anna of Pisa (SSSA), and is run by the Cultural Association of Italians at Fermilab (CAIF). This year the University of Pisa has qualified it as a “University of Pisa Summer School”, and will grant successful students with European Supplementary Credits. Physics students join the Fermilab HEP research groups, while engineers join the Particle Physics, Accelerator, Technical, or Computing Divisions. Some students have also been sent to other US laboratories and universities for special training. The programs cover topics of great interest for science and for social applications in general, like advanced computing, distributed data analysis, nanoelectronics, particle detectors for earth and space experiments, high precision mechanics, applied superconductivity. Over the years, more than 350 students have been trained and are now employed in the most diverse fields in Italy, Europe, and the US The call for applications can be found here:
In addition, the existing Laurea Program in Fermilab’s Technical Division was extended to the whole laboratory, with presently two students in Master’s thesis programs on neutrino physics and detectors in the Neutrino Division. Finally, a joint venture with the Italian Scientists and Scholars North-America Foundation (ISSNAF) provided this year four professional engineers free of charge for Fermilab.
The HEP P5 strategic plan endorses continued US world leadership in superconducting magnet technology for future Energy Frontier Programs. This includes developing 10 to 15 Tesla Nb3Sn accelerator magnets for the LHC upgrade and for a future 100 TeV-scale pp collider, and as an ultimate goal developing magnet technologies based on combining High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) and Low Temperature Superconductors (LTS) for accelerator magnets above 20 Tesla. This program is performed in close collaboration with US and International laboratories, Universities and Industry, in line with strengthening the global cooperation among laboratories and universities. The dual goal for superconducting magnets within the US General Accelerator R&D (GARD) is to increase performance and decrease costs to achieve an affordable technology for a 100 TeV proton-proton collider. This would be best achieved by exploiting the decade-long investment in Nb3Sn technology. The robust and versatile infrastructure that was developed at FNAL in support of advanced superconductor and accelerator magnet development, together with the expertise acquired by the magnet scientists and engineers in design and analysis tools for superconducting materials, cables and coil technologies, makes FNAL an ideal setting, which could serve as an example of positive global integration.
The FNAL magnet group, in co0llaboration with US laboratories and CERN, produced the first in a series of 10 to 12 T accelerator-quality dipoles and quadrupoles made of Nb3Sn, as well as their scale-up models, forming a strong foundation for the HL-LHC Project at CERN. In cooperation with Japanese colleagues of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), KEK, Hitachi Cable Ltd., and Hikifune Co. Ltd., developed a Nb3Al cable and used in magnets for the first time. A Memorandum of Understanding is being renewed between FNAL and NIMS to continue this productive collaboration. This activity plays a key role in the future Energy Frontier programs in the US and worldwide, including the LHC luminosity upgrade, as well as large aperture, high field magnets for the Future Circular Collider (FCC) interaction regions. (See also the articles on the FCC Study and on the CEPC-SPPC Project in this newsletter). An assertive conductor R&D program has consistently been carried out at FNAL in parallel to magnet development work. Coordination with industry has been critical to improve performance of superconducting strands and cables.
Recently, in collaboration with a group within the Chemistry, Material and Chemical Engineering Department at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, led by Prof. Massimiliano Bestetti, we have been working on coating metal surfaces with superconductive Nb3Sn (Fermi Research Alliance, LLC Business Sensitive). While extending this technique to what we believe is its full potential, our team has been resonating with the DoE renewed emphasis on Technology Transfer and Patenting of promising technologies and has started the patenting process. I do not want to assess how revolutionary our superconducting coating technique may be, but certainly it is scalable in size and rather inexpensive. With appropriate financial support, it could lead to high performance superconducting magnetic shields for accelerator magnets, MRI, MAGLEV and other applications and/or deliver high performance superconducting RF cavities for much more economical linear and circular accelerators and, yes, also for advanced light sources.
Another exciting endeavor in applied superconductivity within the Muon g-2 experiment at Fermilab is the capability of superconductive bulk MgB2 to shield large magnetic fields. It is well known that superconducting materials repel magnetic field, whereas paramagnetic ones concentrate flux lines in their interior. By using concentric tubes of the two materials, the magnetic field inside a cylinder is canceled without modifying the external applied field. Analytical solutions exist, which provide a relation between the thickness of the paramagnetic material and the relative permeability necessary for a complete cloaking. Such a successful hybrid cloak would find immediate application in the Muon g-2 experiment, which presently relies on a superconducting inflector magnet to cancel the 1.5 Tesla storage ring field seen by the muon beam at injection.
Hopefully I have made a convincing enough case that in an integrated global world, new ideas and developments that are based on tangible accomplishments should be supported in any field, and my heartfelt recommendation to our political leaders.
A Fellow of the APS, Dr. Barzi is an active member of the high-energy accelerator and physics communities. The Superconducting R&D lab that she founded is a world leading center in low- and high-temperature superconductor technologies for the next generation of particle accelerators. She is presently also a member of the Muon g-2 Collaboration. In addition to conducting research at Fermilab, she has established a number of high-impact international collaborations, as well as extensive educational programs for undergraduate and graduate students in Physics and Engineering that have benefited hundreds of young professionals. She is serving as a DoE SBIR, Accelerator Stewardship Program, and Lehman reviewer.