Accelerators are powerful tools for science and engines for industry, with enormous impact on society. This research program by Cornell University implements innovative accelerator concepts in pioneering, working accelerator devices. Specifically, this program focuses on two transformational topics: (1) The development of very compact and energy efficient superconducting cavities for particle acceleration, which will enable a new class of powerful, compact accelerators, and (2) dramatic improvements in luminosity of particle colliders via a technique called optical stochastic cooling which promises to significantly improve the quality of particle beams. Cornell University's work on pioneering accelerator technology paves the way for new accelerators that are ever more powerful probes of materials, biological systems, molecules, atoms, nuclei and the most fundamental particles in nature. This program will impact accelerators for industry as well. In particular, the technologies that Cornell will develop are essential for the accelerators that are critical tools for medicine, national defense, and perhaps for safe nuclear energy. This research also contributes directly to the education of undergraduate and graduate students in cutting-edge science, engineering and technology, a skillset urgently needed for the U.S. workforce. During summers, students from community colleges will be mentored in research in an environment that would otherwise be unavailable to them. For many it will be a life altering experience.
Superconducting RF (SRF) is the gold-standard for modern accelerators and the most energy efficient means of accelerating a beam of charged particles, but complexity, size, and cost of the current SRF technology until now have limited SRF cavity application to large-scale scientific accelerators. However, recent developments have resulted in drastic reductions of the RF surface resistance of SRF cavities, allowing for a new generation of compact SRF cavities. The SRF research part of this program will focus on the development of such very compact, high-frequency SRF cavities. These will enable completely new SRF-driven accelerators for small-scale university, industrial, national security, and medical applications, by offering robust, compact, energy efficient, and high beam power capable accelerating structures. Optical stochastic cooling promises many orders of magnitude faster cooling rates than conventional stochastic cooling systems that operate in the microwave regime. A cooler beam is more readily focused to high intensity. With cooled hadron beams, proton and heavy ion colliders can achieve significantly higher luminosities; and optical stochastic cooling is presently the only candidate technology for active cooling of electrons, positrons, and muons.