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Thursday, October 6, 2022

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    In the world 30,000 accelerators, from new physics to clean energy

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    There are 30,000 particle accelerators currently on all over the world and, of these, those that explore the secrets of the universe are a very small part: many are instead dedicated to research on tumors and proteins, technologies for clean energy and computer science, new materials and archeology: this is the legacy of Bruno Touschek, the Austrian physicist who escaped deportation in 1945 and who gave birth to the first particle accelerator in Italy.

    Physicists remember him 100 years after his birth in a three-day conference organized in the places where Touschek worked, giving a further and important boost to the Italian school of physics: from the Sapienza University of Rome to the Frascati Laboratories of the Institute. National Nuclear Physics (Infn), at the Accademia dei Lincei.

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    Austrian physicist Bruno Touschek, one of the pioneers of research on particle accelerators (source: INFN)

    “I remember someone telling me that, during the construction of Adonis, Bruno and others had to make irreversible decisions without having any clues. In any case, the decisions were the right ones, otherwise Adonis may have been years late,” he said. today the Nobel Prize winner Giorgio Parisi, reminding Sapienza of the first accelerators born on the initiative of Touschek: Ada (accumulation ring) and Adone. It was these two machines that paved the way for all the other particle accelerators, machines that “for half a century have led to leading discoveries and whose technology has evolved considerably”, noted Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia, who participated in the ‘meeting the link. The largest particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider (Lhc), is just “the tip of the iceberg,” added Rubbia, referring to the numerous applications of the accelerators.

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    “In the early 1960s Touschek had launched the idea of ​​building a completely new machine, in which electrons and positrons would collide in opposite directions. He believed that this process could probe the physical world,” observes the physicist. Luciano Maiani, from Sapienza. “He had intuited – he added – that particles that are not in ordinary matter could be produced”. Remembering Touschek, added Maiani, is also an opportunity to take stock of the future of accelerators, starting with the successor of the LHC.


    Source From: Ansa

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