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The Ionisation Cooling Test Facility (ICTF, formerly known as the MICE facility) is under construction at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) ISIS facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). The ICTF comprises a specialized beam line, which is already in operation, and installations to supply radio-frequency (RF) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) to experimental elements requiring one or other. These installations will start to become available in 2012

The ICTF is the only facility in the world dedicated to the study of “beam cooling”. The ICTF was developed for the MICE experiment (Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment), which is the first experiment to be installed at the facility. The MICE experiment will allow high-accuracy measurement of emittance, and will deploy unique absorbers and re-acceleration stations to assess the efficiency of ionization cooling. The MICE collaboration comprises a large fraction of the “ionization cooling” community in Europe, and even worldwide, and so is in effect the major “user group” for this community, with a structure similar to large experimental collaborations in particle physics: one large collaboration as the main, but not unique, user, involving many collaborating groups.

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