You can view an introductory video about ALICE on the Daresbury Media Services YouTube Channel.
ALICE (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).
The 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 development.
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.