U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Principles of Cryogenic Engineering course

Sponsoring University:

University of Wisconsin - Madison


Principles of Cryogenic Engineering


Steven Van Sciver, NHMFL / Florida State University and John Pfotenhauer, ASC / University of Wisconsin-Madison

This is an introductory (graduate-level) course in the principles and practices of cryogenic engineering. Topics to be covered include: properties of materials commonly used in cryogenic systems; properties of cryogenic fluids including unique characteristics of liquid helium and hydrogen; cryogenic heat transfer and fluid dynamics; large-scale and cryocooler systems for refrigeration and liquefaction; elements of cryogenic system design; and safe storage and transfer of cryogenics fluids. The practical element of the course will consist of application of the principles and theory to the design of cryogenic systems. Specific examples to be discussed will include: Design of low heat leak structural supports, thermal mass considerations, thermal insulation systems, liquefaction/refrigeration of cryogens, storage of cryogens, cryogenic heat exchangers, instrumentation for cryogenics and uncertainty in temperature measurement. The course format will consist of lectures in the morning on theory and practice of cryogenic engineering. Afternoon sessions will be devoted to practical application of these principles through example, demonstration and in-class work. Prerequisites: An understanding of the basic principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer will be assumed.  Course material: No textbook will be required for the course. However, notes and copies of viewgraph materials will be provided in pdf format.