The next generation of particle physics needs the next generation of particle accelerators. The John Adams Institute is a UK and World leading research group dedicated to the research and development of particle accelerators.
Particle Accelerators are the huge machines that boost particles, the smallest components of nature, to speeds very close to the speed of light. Beams of these particles are collided, and in the wreckage new strange particles emerge. By looking at what new particles come out and how they come out, we can learn more about the structure of the universe itself.
Smaller particle accelerators also exist and these can have applications closer to home such as in Archeology, Zoology and Medicine. The Adams institute is developing accelerators for the treatment of cancers as part of the CONFORM project.
We are working on the next generation linear colliders ILC and CLIC which may become the next particle accelerator designed to compliment the information found by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Arguably the weirdest of all the particles we know about is the neutrino. Their mass so small that we don't have anything capable of measuring it's exact value. They are one of the most common particles that exist yet they hardly interact at all. In fact around 50 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second without you ever noticing. Neutrinos also pass straight through the earth without too much trouble as well!
To study neutrinos we need a machine to produce them. This is where the Neutrino Factory comes in. It will produce an intense beam of neutrinos targeted at detectors on the other side of the planet. How the neutrinos change from when they are fired to when they are detected will give us information about their makeup.
Modern light sources, synchrotron-based and free electron lasers, are indispensable for scientific and technological development of modern economy and society. We are working on improving the light sources such as Diamond, designing the New Light Source and working on further ideas.
A very challenging, but very promising direction is creation of compact light sources based on laser plasma acceleration. We attack this challenge with coherent efforts of our several groups, see in particular our research on laser driven plasma wakefield acceleration, the pages of the Lasers for Accelerators team and the JAI at Imperial.