The main direction of research is accelerator physics. Developing accelerators requires advanced instruments. We therefore also do research in instrumentation physics.
Charged particle accelerators are among today’s most advanced research instruments. High energy accelerators enable elementary particle physicists to probe the fundamental constituents of the universe. Accelerator based neutron sources and synchrotron light sources as well as free-electron lasers enable materials- and life-sciences to develop new materials and then probe them with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Accelerator based medical therapy is given to cancer patients.
The main topic of accelerator physics is designing, operating and pushing the performance of accelerators beyond continuously expanding limits, thus enabling science to reach previously inaccessible domains. One example is the Large Hadron Collider at CERN that expanded the high-energy frontier and led to the discovery of the Higgs boson. Another is the Linac Coherent Light Source in Stanford and its ability to investigate chemical reactions on femto-second time scales and determine the three-dimensional structure of molecules otherwise inaccessible.
Developing instruments for physical measurements is an increasingly difficult field, often requiring expertise from outside disciplines. There is a need to bridge the gap between experimental physics and engineering. At FREIA physicists and engineers work closely together to develop advanced instrumentation for front line research.
Optimizing accelerator components and technologies has been identified as crucial for the success of future accelerators. We do research on accelerating cavities, magnets, energy efficient microwave power amplifiers, diagnostics, sensors and measurement techniques for accelerators. We develop the controls for aforementioned instrumentation.