Accelerators have been used for many decades in scientific research, with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN being a leading example. The radiation fields encountered at particle accelerators typically cover a wide range of particle species and energies. Technologies developed for application at the LHC usually have to be qualified for their radiation resilience. More recently accelerators have been finding application in medicine, for example hadron therapy for patients with tumours. In general, accelerators require operational and safety systems with high mean-time-between failures to avoid high running costs and to achieve design goals and in the case of the LHC, scientific breakthroughs.

The Sheffield radiation effects team have played leading roles in the design of:

  • The inner detector systems of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC.
  • The ATLAS shielding systems – optimisating over 1000 tons of shielding materials for the ATLAS experiment at a cost of ~2.5 MCHF.
  • Successful design and optimisation of the LHC beamdumps, including validating a new radiation shielding concept leading to cost savings of over 1 MCHF.