U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Plasma Physics in Beams course

Sponsoring University:

Indiana University
held in Tucson, Arizona


Plasma Physics in Beams


Patrick Colestock, Los Alamos National Lab and Linda Spentzouris, Fermilab

This course gives an introduction to plasma physics for accelerator scientists wishing to explore the common physical basis of these two fields. In the first half of the course, the basic characteristics of a plasma will be described and compared to comparable phenomena inherent in both low-energy and high-energy beams, including Debye shielding, diffusion, collisions, plasma oscillations, wave propagation, and nonlinear effects such as solitons and echoes. Topics will be developed both in a formal theoretical manner and with examples taken from actual experiments. In the second half of the course, potential plasma physics applications to modern accelerators will be covered, including plasma acceleration, plasma focusing, plasma-based light sources and the development of a deeper understanding of collective effects. No previous experience in plasma physics is required. Students should have completed the Introduction to Accelerators course. Prerequisites: accelerator physics, classical mechanics and electromagnetism.