On the development and applications of high-intensity cyclotrons in neutrino physics and energy research
The cyclotron is one of, if not the, most versatile particle accelerator ever conceived. Based on the (then revolutionary) principle of cyclic acceleration using RF frequency alternating voltage on a so-called dee, while particles are forced into circular orbits by a strong vertical magnetic field, many varieties have been developed in the 84 years since their invention by Lawrence in 1932. The fact that they are still around and oftentimes in a form that has been proposed many years ago is a testimony to their robustness and versatility. They have applications in medical physics, material science, energy research, nuclear waste transmutation, even in neutrino physics. In this seminar, I will briefly review the various modern applications of cyclotrons and discuss in more detail the use of high-intensity cyclotrons in neutrino physics and proposals for Accelerator Driven Systems (ADS) for subcritical reactors and nuclear waste transmutation. Two projects that we are currently working on (DAEdALUS and IsoDAR) have strong connections to both fields. These cyclotrons aim for a factor 5-10 increase in intensity compared to existing machines, which poses a number of interesting accelerator-physics design challenges. I will describe these challenges and present the various solutions we have come up with.