U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Control Room Accelerator Physics course

Sponsoring University:

University of Maryland


Control Room Accelerator Physics


John Galambos and Chris Allen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Chungming (Paul) Chu, SLAC

Purpose and Audience
This course provides students with basic skills and hands-on experience developing high-level accelerator control applications. The course should be of particular interest to students and scientists interested in the commissioning, operation and control operation of control of accelerators in research laboratories, and interest in gaining experience with the XAL application framework.

Introduction to Accelerator Physics course; computer programming experience in an object-oriented language is desirable; Java and Python are used extensively.

This course combines interleaved instruction in high-level accelerator control software with basic principles of beam optics, acceleration, beam dynamics in both storage rings and linear accelerators. The materials in the lectures will be reinforced by extensive computer exercises that simulate solving problems in the control of real accelerators.

Instructional Method
The course consists of lectures in the morning (3 hrs. per class day), and an afternoon computer laboratory (3 hours daily) plus graded homework.

Course Content
The course begins with an overview of accelerator control system architecture, high-level control theory to motivate the presentation of an operational approach to developing accelerator control software. These concepts will be synthesized into elements of an application framework for accelerator control in the context of real world design and beam dynamics considerations. The students will then be presented with a review of relevant physics including linear beam optics, basic principles of acceleration, rf-structures, beam dynamics, control theory, and linear time-invariant systems. The physics and mathematical concepts are merged into a “virtual accelerator” tool for simulating the accelerator behavior before the accelerator is available. The XAL high level application framework will be used to provide examples of different commissioning and beam-setup techniques and for development of new applications.
In parallel during the laboratory sessions students will establish basic connections with the Virtual Accelerator, contribute to a team software-development project, establish a machine and beam characteristics database, design an orbit correction algorithm, and determine the magnet setting to match a beam from initial injection conditions to its equilibrium state.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) M.G. Minty and F. Zimmerman, “Measurement and Control of Charged Particle Beams” (Springer, 2003); other suggested reference is K. Sierra and B. Bates, “Head First Java”, Second Edition (O’Reilly, 2005)

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on homework assignments (50% of final grade) and laboratory notebooks (50% of final grade).