On the other hand, CLIC (Compact Linear Collider) is being planned as an addition to CERN’s existing accelerator installation. It will collide electrons and positrons head-on at energies of up to several TeV and is intended to be built and operated in three stages, at collision energies of 380 GeV, 1.5 TeV and 3 TeV, respectively, for a site length ranging from 11 to 50 km.
The CEPC (Circular Electron Positron Collider) is a large international scientific facility proposed by the Chinese particle physics community that will be geared towards precision measurements. In its first phase, it will have a maximum centre-of-mass energy of 240 GeV, while in its second phase, it will be upgraded to a Su-per Proton-Proton Collider (SppC), enclosed in the same 100-kilometre under-ground tunnel.
The Kitakami highland in Japan is the proposed location of the ILC (International Linear collider) which is a HEP facility which will at first consist of two 11-km long superconducting) main linacs for electrons and positrons. Initially, ILC will enable collisions at centre-of-mass energy at around 250 GeV.
The common thread of all the mentioned projects is that they are still in the preparatory stages and progressing with deliberation and care. The consensus at IPAC’22 was that the ideas within the projects would have to ripen some more, also considering new technologies and industry solutions which will optimise the implementation and cost.
At the Forefront, a Pipeline of 4G Light Sources
In recent years, the number of fourth-generation (4G) light-source research projects in preparation has increased significantly – in the next-decade pipeline are now around fifteen projects. The community is talking about a possible bottleneck in the supply chain of the necessary accelerator parts, components and sub-systems within the next five years or even longer.
At IPAC’22, the general opinion was that modern particle accelerators would require more complex control systems, diagnostics, suites, and special computing tools and solutions, such as artificial intelligence implementations.
One of the most popular types of the latter is machine learning (ML) which can be taught the basic physics ”behaviour“ of accelerator operations to optimise both performance-tuning and everyday performance of particle accelerators based on device data gathered and learned.
Artificial Intelligence and Accelerators
Neural networks are often used in ML to model the actual accelerator and its beam dynamics – implementing real-time learning for beam alignment and other types of accelerator optimisations.
Engineers are already using conventional simulation tools to train the neural network models to perform as accelerator surrogates. The latter’s neural networks can be run in real-time on, for example, desktop computers to simulate to assess beam-dynamics behaviour.
The scientific accelerators being devised today pose greater demands on their data networks and hardware performance. As these will be the backbone for the implementation of the necessary new technologies and accompanying tools, future-proofing of networking and hardware is one of the items on the top of the list of accelerator control architects.
Closer integration of good engineering practices in science and industry is needed, which is reflected in the growing importance of the industrial session at IPAC from year to year. IPAC’22 emphasised the importance of science in the industry even more.
IPAC is Still King of Big Physics
I found the virtualities of the two online IPACs – in 2020 and 2021 – to work fine for me and enable good enough communication with contacts and event participants. Nevertheless, nothing can compare with the compelling commotion of a live event!
Compared with pre-Covid-19 times, the number of this year’s participants was slightly less – we were missing many friends from the United States and China, probably due to the travel-related rules and conditions regarding the pandemic. Nevertheless, slowly but surely, IPAC is returning to its “analogue normal”.
A particular thrill was in the air during the whole conference of 2022, and it was not only because it was one of the first in-person international conferences after two years of online. Namely, it was quite evident that the organiser did an excellent job.
The venue was spacious, and the exhibitions were comfortable, with many little islands for discussion. It was also very kind of the hosts to provide food and drinks at the location. IPAC in Thailand evolved in a gentle yet constructive and orderly manner. Possibly this year’s event was one of the best organised IPACs ever!
The wider surroundings of IPAC’22’s venue, Bangkok, added colour and thrill to our experience. But it was the proceedings at the event itself that proved, once again, that IPAC is the place to be for all who live for Big Physics projects!