News & AnalysisParticle Physics

Europe Aims for a Cut-Rate Superlaser to Power Future Particle Accelerators

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Science  16 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6147, pp. 704-705
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6147.704

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Could the light at the end of high-energy physics' increasingly long tunnels be light? To keep making progress, physicists need to slam particles together at increasingly high energy. Many fear that the ever-more-powerful machines required will eventually become too expensive to build and run. In search of a way out, European researchers are investigating a radically new type of accelerator based on souped-up versions of devices already available: the fiber-optic lasers now used in telecommunications.