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DESY hosts meeting of the international collaboration for an accelerator on a chip

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Participants of the ACHIP collaboration meeting at DESY.
The international ACHIP collaboration is meeting at DESY from 19 to 21 September. The ACHIP group (ACHIP = Accelerator on a Chip International Program) is working on the design and construction of highly innovative electron accelerators manufactured using nanotechnology methods - the same methods used for the production of microchips. The goal is to realize ultra-compact accelerators driven by compact lasers that reach acceleration fields of gigavolts per meter, about 10 to 100 times more than conventional particle accelerators today. The ACHIP accelerator will ultimately fit into a shoe box and achieve a beam energy of one mega electronvolt (MeV). This could open up various scientific applications. In the long term, nano accelerators using this technology are conceivable that are compact enough, for example, to be carried on space ships as useful tools or used inside the human body to destroy tumour cells.

At their meeting, 52 experts from all over the world discuss the progress and their next steps in the development. Besides DESY and Hamburg University, the collaboration consists of Stanford University, the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Purdue University, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Tech-X Corporation.

The project is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation from the USA. Gordon Moore is known by Moore's Law, which describes the exponential growth of the number of transistors in computer chips over time. He is also one of the founders of the computer chip company Intel.