1. MDP Will Advance High Energy Physics
U.S. national laboratories, industries and university programs, supported by DOE-OHEP, provided critical contributions to the advancement of superconducting accelerator magnet technologies during the past four decades. The impressive achievements of U.S. accelerator magnet R&D include world records in field strength and field gradient of magnets, successful technology industrialization and application in practical accelerators, and growth of the world’s largest superconductor industry in the USA. Superconducting Nb-Ti magnets are the essential components of the Tevatron, HERA, RHIC, and most recently the LHC. The development of Nb3Sn accelerator magnets by the General Accelerator R&D (GARD) programs, and the outstanding success of the LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP) in moving that technology to practical use, is the most recent example of U.S. contributions to the worldwide pursuit of high energy physics.
In the words of the P5 report, “The U.S. is the world leader in R&D on high-field superconducting magnet technology, which will be a critical enabling technology for such a collider.” We recognize that others are making significant investments in magnet R&D. The U.S. will need to generate a comparable effort to maintain a technological lead and be in a position to make a critical contribution to a future facility.
2. MDP Will Advance and Maintain U.S. Leadership in High Field Magnets
Until recently, U.S. leadership in high field accelerator magnet technology has remained largely uncontested. But now, new programs at CERN and in the EU, Japan and China are rapidly rising to challenge U.S. dominance in this technology. In fact, given the recent progress at CERN it is possible that the U.S. could lose the leadership position in high field accelerator magnet development unless considerable action is taken.
While we recognize that achieving the ambitious goals for a future high-energy proton-proton collider will require a coordinated international effort we also want to be in a position to make a major intellectual contribution in one of the key enabling technologies required to make such a machine a reality.
The U.S. magnet R&D program, described in the Program Plan, is based on the strategy outlined by P5 and the recommendations of the Accelerator R&D Subpanel in a report released in April 2015. The overall theme of the recommendations is to significantly improve the cost-performance of high field magnets for a future high-energy proton-proton collider. The internally integrated program will be executed in close coordina- tion with other international magnet R&D efforts as well as with the US and global design studies. It is the vehicle by which the U.S. will maintain world leadership in high field accelerator magnets. The outcome of this program will have an implicit impact on general magnet technology development for applications outside of HEP as well.
3. MDP Will Develop Magnet Technology Benefiting the DOE Office of Science — A Bridge to Expanded HEP Stewardship
The HEP-funded GARD magnet program has already spawned a number of opportunities to provide critical technologies for other programs in the Office of Science and U.S. industry. Continued support of a cutting-edge program that explores the limits of superconducting materials and magnets will create many new ones: for example, superconducting undulators that will improve the performance of future light sources, high field NMR magnets for research, development of viable HTS magnets for fusion reactors, and magnets with unique performance characteristics for next-generation accelerators. The HTS component of the program may ultimately resolve the chicken-or-egg paradox by demonstrating the viability of applications for HTS superconductors, thereby paving the way for expanding the use of these materials and creating markets that could drive cost down substantially.
4. MDP Will Advance International Collaboration
High energy physics is explicitly an international endeavor. The MDP will extend our collaboration outside the U.S. and further advance international cooperation in future large-scale science projects and exploitation of high-energy accelerators in particular. The U.S. LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP) is a successful example of this. Developing close working relationships with international partners is a critical step towards building a worldwide collab- oration that will be necessary for high energy physics to advance to the next stage. The magnitude of the challenge we face in constructing a next generation proton-proton collider exceeds the capacity and capabilities of any one region. Collaboration with international partners ensures a highly leveraged and complementary means of achieving the MDP goals. International collaboration is also a way to engage and highlight the capabilities of U.S. industry.
General guidance for international collaboration was given by the DOE Office of Science Associate Director for High Energy Physics in a presentation on March 23, 2015: “A ‘mutually beneficial’ R&D collaboration provides the most solid foundation for U.S. participation with DOE support.” Referring to future high-energy colliders, “We envision these machines as global partnerships; the community must help ensure this partnership is not one region exploiting developments in the others to promote regional/national goals. R&D efforts must have an appropriate balance of international and national goals.” MDP will provide a framework for coordination of international activities that will benefit DOE and the international HEP program.