“I think that there are a lot of tech companies that have really great ideas but they’re not very expert in what it is that they’re trying to fix,” he says. “And, for me, having spent so much time inside of banks and inside of the credit infrastructure, it’s pretty clear to me what it is that needs to be better. And it really is secure, anonymous data sharing.”
When we think of the particle accelerators that elucidate the building blocks of nature, we think of spectacular and massive facilities like the 27-kilometer-circumference Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the proton-crashing instrument at CERN famous for the Higgs boson discovery.
But what if there were much smaller alternatives to the giant machines that could probe physics beyond the large colliders’ reach? There just may be such a possibility: laser-plasma accelerators, “a promising candidate to significantly reduce the cost and improve the compactness of beam generators,” says Jean-Luc Vay, a senior physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and head of the Accelerator Modeling Program in the lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.