New director of the Muon Accelerator Program

Palmer stands by a section of the Cornell electron-positron accelerator.

Today Mark Palmer assumes a new position as head of the Muon Accelerator Program (MAP), a collaborative project exploring the potential of a muon collider and a neutrino factory for experiments.

“I’m very much looking forward to joining the Fermilab team and helping to manage the program,” said Palmer. “It’s going to be quite enjoyable to work with what I view as a very diverse and talented team both at Fermilab and throughout the collaborations involved.”

Palmer brings nearly 12 years of experience working on Cornell University’s accelerator group. Prior to joining the accelerator group, he worked on the CLEO experiment at the university’s electron-positron collider. After the conclusion of colliding beam operations in 2008, the collider operated as a test accelerator and, under the direction of Palmer for the following three years, carried out a research program on the electron cloud effect in support of the design effort for the International Linear Collider (ILC) damping rings.

“We’re extremely happy that we were able to attract Mark to Fermilab to lead the US MAP program,” said Stuart Henderson, associate director for accelerators at Fermilab. “It’s hard to imagine someone better suited to lead this critical R&D program at this point in time.”

As director of US MAP, Palmer is managing a team of about 200 physicists from several institutions across the country. Maintaining the program’s focus on the most critical aspects of R&D, Palmer and his team will develop techniques never used before in a high-energy physics machine, with the goal of completing key demonstrations within a few years’ time. This will provide the information needed to decide whether a muon collider is the machine to build for future efforts in high-energy physics.

“Mark has an extraordinarily broad knowledge in the field and will bring a practical can-do attitude to the muon R & D program,” said Marc Ross, project manager for the Engineering Design Report for the International Linear Collider. “His contributions to ILC design and R & D have been quite considerable.”

—Brad Hooker