Carnegie Mellon University
April 16, 2013

Press Release: Associate Director of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory To Deliver Carnegie Mellon's 2013 Buhl Lecture April 23

Norbert Holtkamp Will Discuss Future of Particle Accelerator Research

Contact: Jocelyn Duffy / 412-268-9982 /

HoltkampPITTSBURGH-Norbert Holtkamp, associate laboratory director for the accelerator directorate at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will present Carnegie Mellon University's annual Buhl Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 23 in the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Ave., Oakland. His lecture "Particle Accelerators: Ships of Discovery - Tools for a Better Life - Technologies for the Future" is free and open to the public.

Physicists invented the first particle accelerator in the early 20th century. Today, there are an estimated 300,000 accelerators in operation around the world. These machines create beams of accelerated particles that can be used to shrink a tumor, produce cleaner energy, map proteins, design drugs, package a Thanksgiving turkey or discover the secrets of the universe, among many other things.

Over the years, accelerators for particle physics have been growing larger and larger, as evidenced by the 27-kilometer-circumference Large Hadron Collider. The next step in accelerator research is for physicists to break the paradigm that understanding smaller and smaller constituents of matter requires larger and larger facilities. Doing so will require a quantum step in technology, and Holtkamp will discuss how and when this leap will happen.

Holtkamp has served on numerous laboratory program and governmental advisory committees including the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel's long-range planning subpanel in 2002, and the National Academy of Sciences' decadal panel on elementary particle physics, EPP 2010.

Prior to joining the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Holtkamp was involved in the commissioning of the Main Injector accelerator at Fermilab, served as the director of the accelerator systems division of the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was the principal deputy director general of ITER, an international fusion reactor project.

The Buhl Lecture is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon's Department of Physics. The lecture is funded under the auspices of the Buhl Professorship in Theoretical Physics, which was established at Carnegie Mellon in 1961 by The Buhl Foundation.


Pictured above is Norbert Holtkamp, associate laboratory director for the accelerator directorate at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.