Particle Colliders - Accelerating Innovation

Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool

Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool

Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront L3 4FP UK

Particle colliders - very large 'atom smashers' - such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are used to improve our understanding of the fundamental building blocks and forces that make up our universe. They have also proven to drive technology progress and enabled numerous applications in health, security and energy. 

The EuroCirCol and Future Circular Collider (FCC) projects investigate options for a future highest energy collider. The University of Liverpool and CERN, together with partners from the FCC/EuroCirCol projects, hosted a Symposium to showcase the science and technology challenges on 22 March 2019.  The aim of this special event was to explore the opportunities for co-innovation between a variety of industries including energy, health, security, transport, IT, communications, and civil engineering, as well as cryogenics, detectors and accelerator technology.

The Symposium was a fantastic public display of the FCC project and took place at the prestigious Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre near the famous Albert Dock. The event featured talks by keynote speakers that are now available to watch offline, an industry exhibition, as well as hands-on activities for the general public.

The Symposium was accompanied by an Industry Innovation Workshop in the afternoon of the 22 March 2019. The workshop focused on the strategic R&D programme of FCC, including the technological innovations envisaged within the project, and the benefits for industry in terms of project involvement and product commercialization. Working groups around each of the relevant industry sectors were formed to discuss specific opportunities for co-innovation and funding. Slides of all afternoon talks are available via this link.

This event was an ideal opportunity to get involved in one of the largest scientific and technological endeavours of the 21st century. 

A large cohort of physics undergraduate students also attend the Symposium, offering the participating companies the chance to meet prospective recruits and giving the students unique insight into career opportunities after graduation.


The EuroCirCol project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme under grant No 654305. 

This event was sponsored by



Dr Ricardo Torres
    • 9:30 AM
    • 1

      Particle accelerators have numerous applications across many fields including fundamental research, medicine, electronics, environment and energy. As the limits of performance are reached new methods for particle acceleration and beam optimisation are needed. This requires technology breakthroughs that can then also benefit many other science and society applications.
      This talk will present the motivation and context for this international Symposium.

      Speaker: Prof. Carsten Peter Welsch (Cockcroft Institute / University of Liverpool)
    • 2
      The Future Circular Collider study

      The Future Circular Collider (FCC) study, which was formally launched in 2014, would see a 100 km-circumference tunnel built at CERN to host post-LHC colliders that could offer a rich physics programme until the end of the 21st century. The goals of this international project are to boost the energy and intensity frontiers in our efforts to search for new physics that could answer the important unsolved questions in fundamental physics after the discovery of the Higgs and the completion of the Standard Model. Experiments at future colliders could contribute to determine which, if any, of the theories trying to answer these questions are realised in nature, and to expand our knowledge about the fundamental laws of the universe.

      Dr Michael Benedikt will discuss the motivation for and the main scenarios covered by the Future Circular Collider study and present the rapid progress made in technological R&D across the many domains of this mammoth technological effort. He will present the challenges of this project and the opportunities offered by this endeavour as the realisation of these machines calls for a major global training, technological and industrial programme.

      Speaker: Dr Michael Benedikt (CERN)
    • 3
      Exploring the energy frontier - our journey to understanding nature

      Particle physics has given us unique insight into what matter is and how it works. It allows us to address questions such as 'What is the world made of?' and 'What holds the world together?'

      The fundamental building blocks of our universe have been studied successfully with particle accelerators since the early 20th century. This has allowed new particles to be discovered and existing theories to be tested. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is currently the world's largest and highest energy accelerator. In 2012, it enabled the discovery of the Higgs Boson - the last missing piece in the Standard Model of particle physics. The question now is 'What are we looking for next?' and what tools, what accelerators will be best suited to answer this question.

      This talk introduces the key concepts of modern particle physics and shows how the LHC and its detectors have helped discover new particles. It also discusses currently open research questions and where our journey might lead us to next.

      Speaker: Dr Kate Shaw (University of Sussex (GB))
    • 4
      The Data Science revolution in scientific research

      The use of big data methods in science has curious roots, from bioinformatics and paranormal psychology, to particle physics and social economics. These methods took a strange detour via advertising, social media and playing Go, but are now finding applications in research across the breadth of science and the humanities. We will look at a range of projects where AI is transforming research practice, and the role the Alan Turing Institute is playing in this revolution. We will then consider a number of challenges this approach presents, in which some traditional philosophical questions gain unexpected practical applications.

      Speaker: Prof. Jonathan Rowe (Alan Turing Institute)
    • 5
      Particle Accelerators and Five Decades of Colliders

      There are more than thirty thousand particle accelerators in the world, ranging from accelerators used for cancer therapy in modern hospitals to giant ‘atom-smashers’ such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, used to unravel the secrets of the universe.

      This presentation gives an overview of the history of particle accelerators, starting at the beginning of the 20th century and continuing all the way to the most advanced accelerators and colliders that are in operation today. Professor Myers presents the fundamental principles that are used to accelerate charged particles, challenges that had to be overcome to push the energy and intensity limits, as well as how accelerators have been used for scientific discovery and what societal applications they have enabled. Finally, the presentation also gives a vision of how future accelerators will help gain an even better understanding of nature and prospects for new breakthrough technologies.

      Speaker: Prof. Steve Myers
    • 6
      Closing remark
      Speaker: Prof. Carsten Peter Welsch (Cockcroft Institute / University of Liverpool)
    • 12:45 PM
      Industry exhibition and outreach activities
    • 2:30 PM
      Awards and good-bye (schools only)
    • Closed session: Co-Innovation between Academia and Industry