Suzie Sheehy, University of Melbourne, Australia
It is a pleasure to write as a new correspondent for the ICFA Beam Dynamics Newsletter, representing the Australia/New Zealand accelerator physics community. With lots of activity happening here – including IPAC’19 in Melbourne in May 2019 - I look forward to bringing news as our accelerator community grows.
There is an incredibly strong history in the field of accelerators in Australia and NZ, from Marc Oliphant (Australia) who invented the concept of the synchrotron, Ernest Rutherford (New Zealand) who famously created the desire for us to build accelerators in the first place to the Braggs famed for X-ray crystallography. The largest accelerator in Australia at present is a synchrotron light source, the Australian Synchrotron, operating since 2007. This major facility has 10 user beamlines including a dedicated medical research beamline, X-ray absorption spectroscopy through to the far infrared beamline and benefits around 5000 users annually.
In recent years, Australia has been moving ever closer to building their first large scale hadron accelerator, not of hadron collider proportions of course, but for proton therapy. The federal government have now committed funds for this and through a series of national symposia and working groups the clinical, medical physics and technical communities are working hard to bring this to fruition. What of the beam dynamics community? From March 2019, I’m pleased to say a new group has started in Accelerator Physics focusing on medical applications at the University of Melbourne. Plans are afoot for a Masters level accelerator physics course, helping to strengthen the accelerator physics community in the region.
We are very much looking forward to hosting our colleagues from around the globe for the upcoming 10th International Particle Accelerator Conference, IPAC’19, to be held in Melbourne, Australia in May 2019. I hope to catch up with as many of you as possible and that you’ll enjoy Melbourne’s vibrant food, coffee and culture as much as I do.