You can view an introductory video about ALICE on the Daresbury Media Services YouTube Channel.
(Accelerators and Lasers In Combined Experiments) is an accelerator
which has been designed and built at Daresbury Laboratory. It was
formerly known as ERLP (Energy Recovery Linac Prototype).
heart of this facility is an Energy Recovery Linac (ERL). The ERL is
the first of a new type of accelerator to be built in Europe. High
quality bunches of electrons are produced by a photo-injector source.
This electron beam is then accelerated to around 30 million Volts
through superconducting radiofrequency cavities. These bunches
travelling at near light-speed are then compressed to stimulate the
production of intense, short pulses of light. ALICE light sources
include an infra-red free electron laser (in operation since 2010), and
high power terahertz radiation.
This unique facility is used
to investigate and overcome the challenges presented to scientists in
designing and building future generations of accelerators. This research
is useful for both future light sources and other advanced accelerator
The intense light produced from ALICE can be
used to probe in minute detail, the inner workings of physical processes
at the atomic level. Such studies can assist in solving some of the
major challenges of the modern world; for example in 2013 the EPSRC
research council funded a programme of researchon ALICE in the diagnosis of different cancer types.
Further details can be viewed on the STFC website.