Physics Opportunities with the Gamma Factory

30 November 2020 to 4 December 2020


Virtual MITP Workshop

The Gamma Factory (GF) initiative, which is a part of the Physics Beyond Colliders project, proposes to develop novel research tools at CERN by producing, accelerating, and storing highly relativistic, partially stripped ion beams in the SPS and LHC storage rings.

By exciting the electronic degrees of freedom of the stored ions with lasers, high energy narrow-band, fully polarized photon beams will be produced. Their intensities, up to 10^17 photons per second, will be several orders of magnitude higher than those of the presently operating light sources in the particularly interesting gamma-ray energy domain reaching up to 400 MeV, inaccessible with FEL-based sources. Multiple unprecedented opportunities in atomic, nuclear, particle, and applied physics may be afforded by utilizing the primary beams for spectroscopy of partially stripped ions circulating in the storage ring, as well as by the use of the secondary high-energy photon beams. The Gamma Factory provides a unique scenario of extending the use of the existing CERN accelerator infrastructure, going beyond its design goals, and allowing to open new cross-disciplinary research domains.

It may enable groundbreaking experiments in spectroscopy and novel ways of testing fundamental symmetries of nature, expand the reach of QCD tests, help produce unusual nuclear isotopes and isomers, and open new ways to address the high energy frontier of the accelerator technology with polarized muon beams and the HEP precision frontier by providing ultra-pure, CP-tagged neutrino beams.