CLARA holds its first User Meeting

From September 2018 to March 2019 CLARA has been delivering high-brightness electrons to a number of user experiments following a competitive beam application process and covering a wide range of disciplines.

Results from these first experiments as well as plans for the next exploitation periods were presented at the first CLARA User Meeting, held at the Cockcroft Institute on 17 June. The meeting, hosted by ASTeC and sponsored by the IoP, was attended by about 70 researchers. 

The topics covered included novel acceleration research with dielectric waveguides, direct acceleration with THz light, and electron beam-laser plasma interactions; advanced electron diagnostics for future accelerators; superconducting in-vacuum undulator demonstration; industrialisation of accelerator components; and first measurements of high energy electron damage to single and double strands of DNA for potential cancer therapies of the future.

Several speakers highlighted the pioneering aspects of their research and plans for publication in high impact journals in the near future. The feedback on the CLARA accelerator performance was extremely positive and the highly supportive attitude of the ASTeC and Technology Department staff towards making the user exploitation a success was mentioned by many speakers.

The second half of the meeting focussed on the design and delivery of Phase 2 of CLARA (dedicated high energy end station) which was enthusiastically welcomed by the user community, with many highlighting new world-leading experiments that will be made possible and several new ideas being put forward for beam exploitation.