U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Accelerator Physics course

Sponsoring University:

Michigan State University


Accelerator Physics


Joseph Bisognano, Synchrotron Radiation Center/Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Purpose and Audience
Accelerator and beam physics is a broad discipline that draws on concepts from linear and nonlinear mechanics, electrodynamics, special relativity, plasma physics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics. The applications of particle accelerators are equally far ranging, including particle and nuclear physics, energy production, chemistry, materials and biological sciences, and medicine. This course will survey the fundamental concepts of accelerator physics that represent areas of current research and development. Typically, a topic first will be discussed abstractly and then applied to a specific facility or device. This course is designed for graduate students pursuing accelerator physics as a career or graduate engineers who want to learn in more detail about the basic physics of accelerators.

Classical mechanics, electrodynamics, and physical or engineering mathematics, all at entrance graduate level; and the USPAS course "Accelerator Fundamentals" or equivalent.

On completion of this course, the students are expected to understand the physical principles that make accelerators function, the limits of present technologies, the promise of future technologies, and the issues presented by forefront applications.
Instructional Method
This course includes a series of lectures and exercise sessions. Homework problems will be assigned which will be graded and answers provided in the exercise sessions. There will be an open-book, “take-home” final exam at the conclusion of the course.

Course Content
Acceleration, beam transport, nonlinear dynamics, synchrotron radiation, space charge, impedances and wakefields, coherent synchrotron radiation, beam-beam effects, phase space cooling, free-electron lasers, novel methods of acceleration, accelerator systems.

Reading Requirements (to be provided by the USPAS)
“Accelerator Physics”, by S. Y. Lee, World Scientific (1999) and “Handbook of Accelerator Physics and Engineering”, edited by Alexander W. Chao and Maury Tigner, World Scientific, 3rd print (2006).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on the following performances: Final exam (50%), Homework assignments (50%).