Scientists have demonstrated a key technology in making next-generation high-energy particle accelerators possible.

Particle accelerators are used to probe the make-up of matter in colliders like the Large Hadron Collider, and for measuring the chemical structure of drugs, treating cancers and manufacturing silicon microchips.

So far, the particles accelerated have been protons, electrons and ions, in concentrated beams. However, an international team called the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) collaboration, which includes Imperial College London researchers, are trying to create a muon .

Muons are particles like electrons, but with much greater mass. This means they could be used to create beams with ten times more energy than the Large Hadron Collider.

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