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Proton Improvement Plan (PIP-II) Project

Why is it in the news?

  • India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has commenced the construction phase for its contributions to the Proton Improvement Plan (PIP-II) project.

More about the news

  • PIP-II is the first particle accelerator on U.S. soil, situated at Fermilab, with substantial contributions from international partners.
  • Collaborating institutions from India, France, Italy, Poland, and the UK are involved in the project, with India pledging $140 million worth of components.
  • The accelerator will power the world’s most high-energy neutrino beam for the under-construction Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) at the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF).
Particle Accelerator

·       Particle accelerators propel charged particles such as protons, atomic nuclei, and electrons at high speeds, approaching the speed of light.

·       Key components include a particle source, a device to accelerate particles, metallic tubes in vacuum for unhindered movement, and electromagnets to steer the particle beam.

Examples of Large Particle Accelerators

  • Large Hadron Collider (LHC): Located at CERN in Geneva, it is the most powerful accelerator globally, notable for discoveries such as the Higgs Boson and previously unknown hadrons.
  • Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC), USA: It houses the longest linear particle accelerator globally and has contributed to discoveries like quarks and tau leptons.
  • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF): Situated in Grenoble, France, it hosts the most intense hard x-ray source globally.

Significance of Particle Accelerators

  • Fundamental Research: Enables the collision of sub-nuclear particles at near-light speeds, facilitating the search for new particles and forces, and advancing understanding of the universe’s origins.
  • Health Applications: Used for sterilizing medical equipment and synthesizing radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis and therapy.
  • Environmental Impact: Facilitates the detection of trace chemical elements in air, water, or soil, aiding environmental monitoring efforts.
  • Industrial Applications: Contributes to improving material durability and enhancing industrial processes through research and development.

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