What procedure do scientists use to get time on a collider/particle accelerator?

In summary, there is a specific format that proposals must follow, there are costs associated with the proposal, and it depends on the facility.
  • #1
Is there some sort of special format of proposal they must put together?
Do they need institutional support (from their university, dept. chair, company, etc)?
Are there costs involved?
Does it depend on the facility?

Does anyone know where I can get this sort of information?

Thanks in advance! :)
 
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  • #2
Hmmm. I was under the impression that you couldn't 'get time' on a particle collider because it is simply unnecessary. That is, the experiments they run and the data they are going to gather are set up years in advance and are heavily constrained by the specifications of the collider and detectors.

This is in contrast to a telescope, where you get completely different data just by moving the telescope a bit.

@Orodruin where you the one with experience in this area, or am I thinking of someone else?
 
  • #3
paulOlivetti said:
Is there some sort of special format of proposal they must put together?
Do they need institutional support (from their university, dept. chair, company, etc)?
Are there costs involved?
Does it depend on the facility?

Does anyone know where I can get this sort of information?

Thanks in advance! :)

First of all, you need to look at the policy of a particular facility. For particle accelerators, many of them are "user facilities", i.e. external users are welcome to submit a proposal during the proposal period, and then, depending on the schedule, and how many proposals were received, you get selected for a particular slot.

You are responsible for all expenditure related to your work, i.e. if you need to have a special vacuum chamber, a special diagnostics, etc, you must be the one to supply those AND make arrangements with the facility to make sure they are compatible, etc. If you require their expertise, then you have to make prior arrangements. Often times, most facilities will make sure you contact a person there first to iron this out.

This method is no different than many other user facilities around the world. Most synchrotron centers are user facilities and have well-established procedure on such matters.

BTW, if you are representing a for-profit entity (such as a commercial company), you may be charged for the use of the facility. This doesn't apply if you represent an academic institution, national labs, etc.

Zz.
 
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  • #4
As a practical matter, you aren't going to get time on a collider except by joining a reasearch group that already has an existing experiment or has a proposal that is likely to succeed. There are too few colliders and any experiment that gets approval is going to have to have very broad physics appeal. So, either you join a collaboration with 10,000,000 other physicists/co-authors or you propose one that appeals to 10,000,000 other physicists/co-authors. The 10,000,000 number is only a slight exaggeration. :)

Time on a smaller accelerator can be had, though. I'm sure that each institution has its own peculiarities for submitting a proposal, but as I understand it, a facility which receives federal funding is required to consider proposals from the public. As already noted by another poster, if you are a for profit organization, you will be charged for beam time and whatever resources you require. One example is the cyclotron at Texas A&M. There is a beamline there used for testing radiation effects on materials like semiconductors that NASA has used and probably semiconductor manufacturers. A for profit corporation would be paying something like 5k/hour for the time they are alloted.
 
  • #5
Thank you all!
 
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