Review: Dr Victoria Blackmore

Recreating the Big Bang: Accelerators for High Energy Physics – Dr Victoria Blackmore, Imperial College, London

In her talk on Tuesday 8th November, Dr Blackmore covered a variety of very interesting topics regarding her field of research: accelerator physics. These included a fascinating introduction to sub-atomic particles like photons, muons and neutrinos and their properties and importance in accelerator physics as well as an intriguing description of her current project at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK) and recent developments there concerning their pursuit of a particle accelerator using muons instead of electrons like the current ones (e.g. CERN).

Dr Blackmore’s research involved the tricky process of narrowing down a muon beam to make a useable beam for a particle accelerator. So far she has managed to reduce the diameter (around 50 cm) of the beam by a factor of around 0.02, but the process of narrowing the beam is very arduous and will take a long time, a lot of energy and further research to achieve. The magnets used to reduce the diameter of the beam have a strength of 4 Tesla and needs specially made walls which reduce the magnetic field (to a strength of 0.5T) to allow people to walk past the apparatus, or else they would become dizzy!

Alexander Rowe (B1 L6)

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