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US-Australia agreement strengthens particle physics research

29 October 2016

Australia’s centre for particle physics has entered into a ten-year collaborative agreement with the USA’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) – America’s premier particle physics laboratory.

The agreement will enable Australia’s Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics on the Terascale (CoEPP) to carry out collaborative fundamental scientific particle physics experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

The CoEPP is funded by the Australian Research Council and includes researchers from the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the University of Adelaide and the University of Sydney.

I was delighted to witness the signing of the agreement today at Fermilab, located just outside of Chicago.

The ten-year Fermilab-CoEPP agreement formalises a long history of collaboration and exchange.

It will integrate Australian scientists into a global network of particle physics research that develops capacity across a variety of research areas.

More than 3,500 scientists world-wide use Fermilab and its accelerators, detectors and computers for their research, with around 2,600 researchers from 44 countries collaborating on Fermilab experiments.

Research through Fermilab has contributed to the recent discovery of the Higgs boson, enabled the development of MRI machines and built the first proton accelerator for cancer treatment.

CoEPP now has links with the world’s three largest particle physics research laboratories: The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, KEK in Japan and Fermilab.

Australian physicists can now network with thousands of international scientists to develop research that is beyond the capacity of any one country.

Their findings will contribute to Australia’s future health and economic development with potential impacts on medical therapy, cloud computing and fundamental research into dark matter.

They will also strengthen our expertise in science, technology, engineering and maths, as Australia’s leading researchers can access the facilities and collaborators they need to ensure the highest-quality research.

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