Today at Berkeley Lab

Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division is New Name for AFRD

CCnew5_01_10Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, Physical Sciences ALD James Symons and AFRD Director Wim Leemans, are pleased to announce the newly named Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division, or ATAP for short.

Last January, Symons appointed Leemans as Director of AFRD, recognizing his scientific achievements as well as his broad vision for the future of accelerator physics and its applications. Since then, Leemans has been working with his colleagues to hone the Division’s research strategy.

“We feel that Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics better reflects the broadening contributions of accelerators and related technologies to today’s science and technology challenges,” said Leemans. “The new name also recognizes the origins and core mission of the Division.”

ATAP traces its roots to the founding of LBNL, when Ernest Lawrence invented the cyclotron — and with it “Team Science.” As his Radiation Laboratory grew, accelerator physics became a discipline in its own right, and accelerators were a central activity at the Laboratory. This was recognized by the creation of the Physics II Division, which, in 1973, under former LBNL Director and accelerator physicist Andrew Sessler, became known the Accelerator Division. In 1977, the name was changed again to recognize the Division’s growing programs in fusion research, under the leadership of plasma physicist Wulf Kunkel.

Today, with operation of the Advanced Light Source in its own Division, and a reduced emphasis on inertial confinement fusion at DOE, it’s time again for a new name. Accelerator Technology acknowledges the Lab’s long tradition of inventing and building particle accelerators for high-energy physics, nuclear physics, basic energy sciences and fusion energy science. Applied Physics highlights the Division’s major contributions to materials research, biomedical research, and the development of intense and powerful probes, magnets, and diagnostic systems for other science and technology areas. To its researchers, the new name encapsulates multiple technology frontiers that benefit the laboratory, the nation and the world.

ATAP will continue to expand upon its foundations in accelerators. Support of the ALS continues to be a central theme for the Division, and ATAP and ALS are working closely together on an upgrade strategy to keep the ALS at the forefront of soft X-Ray sources. The Division will also continue to develop compact, laser driven accelerators at the BELLA Center. Meanwhile, the spinoff benefits for science and society have significantly increased, including in such areas as security and energy-efficient technology.

In addition to its new name, Leemans wants to advance the Laboratory and Division science strategies by:
• Providing exquisite X-Ray beams from synchrotrons and free-electron lasers, and developing the next generation of light sources;
• Modeling, diagnosing, controlling, our current and future accelerators;
• Pushing the frontiers of superconducting magnets towards higher fields and lower costs;
• Designing and developing compact ultra-high gradient, lower-cost high-energy accelerators;
• Developing electron scattering, gamma ray sources, neutron and ion beams as powerful tools for ultrafast, multi-scale science;
• Advancing state-of-the-art tools for high-speed, high-fidelity computing; and
• Pursuing high-power ultrafast laser technology for accelerators and radiation generation.

To learn more about ATAP Division and its programs, you are invited to visit