U.S. Particle Accelerator School

X-Ray Free-Electron Lasers course

Sponsoring University:

University of California, Berkeley


X-Ray Free-Electron Lasers


Samuel Krinsky, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Purpose and Audience
This course builds on the preceding course on the Introduction to Synchrotron Radiation and Free Electron Lasers and leads the student into the practical and parametric implementation of the theory into realistic facilities. Specifically, the physics and technology of x-ray lasers will be evaluated and discussed. This graduate course is designed for students interested in this field as well as a more general audience interested to stay up to date on modern developments and capabilities of accelerator physics and production of coherent x-rays.

Knowledge of graduate-level accelerator physics is required. Familiarity with the physics of free-electron lasers and high-brightness electron beams will be helpful.

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be sufficiently familiar with the physics and technology to understand the workings of the whole facility, read current journal and conference articles and follow relevant optimization procedures.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of 10 lectures (75 min each) during morning sessions. In the afternoon there will be 8 lectures (60 min each) as well as group discussion of the course material. Guest speakers from SLAC, experts on specific aspects of the design of x-ray free-electron lasers, will give 6 of the 8 afternoon lectures.

Course Content
Recent advances in the production and transport of high-brightness electron beams have made it possible to design free-electron lasers (FELs) operating at x-ray wavelengths. In this course, we shall review the basic design of single-pass FEL amplifiers and the technologies necessary for their realization. Subjects of interest are: photo-cathode electron guns; magnetic bunch compression; space charge and wakefield effects; undulator design; and x-ray generation. Our discussion will focus on the stringent requirements on the electron beam and the key hardware components necessary for amplification of x-rays to saturation. We shall compare the relative merits of self-amplified spontaneous-emission (SASE) with the seeded FEL amplifier. Schemes for producing femtosecond pulses will be described. General considerations will be illustrated by examples from x-ray FELs now under development: LCLS/SLAC; TESLA XFEL/DESY and C-BAND/SPRING-8.

Reading Requirements
The course will be based on lecture notes. Suggested background reading includes: "Fundamentals of Beam Physics" by James Rosenzweig (Oxford University Press, 2003) and "The Physics of Free Electron Lasers" by E.L. Saldin, E.A. Schneidmiller and M.V. Yurkov (Springer, 1999).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated 100% based on graded homework assignments.