Illustration of mapping from broad science goals (left) to user community needs (right) via the accelerator R&D thrust areas (center) supported by the Office of Science (adapted from SLAC Task Force report).
To develop a successful accelerator R&D stewardship activity, it is necessary to understand how the R&D effort addresses user needs. The SLAC Accelerator R&D Task Force examined these connections in some detail. In broad terms, the R&D thrust areas can be characterized as motivated by a few main technical goals:
- improved particle beam quality
- improved photon beam quality
- improved beam intensity
- improved compactness and/or higher energy
The figure illustrates the mapping pictorially. The strong connection between current accelerator R&D thrusts and the broad technical goals—present by design—is apparent in the left portion of the diagram. The right side of the figure indicates schematically the overlap between current R&D thrust areas and potential user needs in the categories designated by the Accelerators for America’s Future workshop. Not surprisingly, we find full overlap between the thrust areas and the needs for discovery science; this is again by design, as the only user community for the present activities is discovery science. Encouragingly, we find that the present R&D thrust areas are already a reasonable match to the needs of most of the potential user communities. This means that the skills already exist to address many of these broader user needs.
In one sense, the effectiveness of the accelerator R&D stewardship activity will be measured by its ability to increase the areas of overlap between the application needs and the thrust areas. This may well require additions or modifications to the present thrust areas, that is, the “pull” from other user communities will likely result in evolution of the thrust areas over time to better meet the broader user needs. That said, it is nonetheless expected that the seminal role of discovery science in spurring accelerator science and technology innovation will continue.