The strong interaction between theory and experimentation has always been the basis for progress in the natural sciences. Experimental discoveries have often been the direct result of advances in experimental techniques. However, the opposite is also true, namely that new experiments provide new challenges for the improvement of instrumentation. For this reason, it is difficult to imagine a major advance in physics without a corresponding advance in instrumentation.
Very few advanced schools focus their studies specifically on advances in instrumentation and experimental methods and concentrate more on theoretical and experimental advances.
Each course in the School will be devoted to a particular branch of physics or instrumentation, with the intention of providing an overview of the most current and interesting topics in these subjects. Ideas and principles will be emphasised rather than technicalities, but particular techniques will be described and discussed. New developments rather than established techniques will be discussed, but an overview of the general context will be provided. In addition, applications of instrumentation, although considered to be the domain of physicists, will be discussed in depth in relation to other disciplines, such as medicine. The aim of the School is to provide a stimulating and informative environment primarily for young experimental physicists who wish to obtain a clear and up-to-date view of the advances in instrumentation and experimental methods used in their particular field of research.
The school is primarily intended to attract graduate and post-graduate students from laboratories, institutes and universities throughout Europe with an interest in the design and construction of particle accelerators and detectors for research in high-energy physics. Superconductivity and the associated cryogenic technology are the basis for the design and construction of the magnets that bend particles in detectors, thus allowing their momentum to be determined, and in circular synchrotrons and storage rings, where they guide the circular orbit of the colliding particle. Both linear and circular accelerators, which also make use of superconductivity technology, have latent applications in other fields, such as energy storage and energy transmission, and are of general interest to a wider audience, which includes industries producing all kinds of electrical machinery, microwave components and medical diagnostic equipment.