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Accelerator physicists to attend international ERL workshop at Cornell

More than 170 scientists from around the world will converge on Cornell's campus for the third international Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) Workshop, June 8-12.

This year's workshop, in association with the International Committee for Future Accelerators, is being hosted and co-organized by Cornell scientists, who are in the midst of developing an extensive proposal for building a world-class ERL. Cornell's proposed ERL would accelerate electrons to sufficient energy for the production of ultra-bright, ultra-short X-ray pulses capable of imaging structures with atomic resolution, and of producing movies of fast chemical processes. It would extend Cornell's existing accelerator in the synchrotron tunnel by close to one mile of buildings and tunnels for new accelerator components.

The ERL workshop will gather a prestigious scientific community focused on next-generation accelerator physics and technology. Sessions will address "fundamental challenges related to the generation of high brightness and simultaneously high average current electron beams with Energy Recovery Linacs, including high brightness electron guns, orbit stability, beam-quality preservation during acceleration and energy recovery," according to the program summary.

The principle of an ERL was first proposed in 1965 by Maury Tigner, the Hans A. Bethe Professor Emeritus of Physics and director of the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education.

"We have become a leader in work for using ERLs for high brightness X-ray sources," said Georg Hoffstaetter, Cornell professor of physics and chair of the workshop's organizing committee.

Cornell researchers will provide a central design report for Cornell's X-ray ERL within this year. The report will be critical to obtaining funding for the larger accelerator.

Prototyping of critical ERL components has been funded since 2005, and funding, in part from federal stimulus money, of a pre-construction proposal to the National Science Foundation is expected shortly by Hoffstaetter and colleagues.

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Blaine Friedlander