U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Fundamentals of Proton Linear Accelerators with Lab course

Sponsoring University:

Old Dominion University


Fundamentals of Proton Linear Accelerators with Simulation Lab


John Staples, ret. LBNL, George Gillespie, G.H. Gillespie Associates Inc. and Sang-Ho Kim, Oak Ridge National Lab

Purpose and Audience
This two-week course is aimed at accelerator physicists, engineers and technicians who want to learn the physics of low-energy linear accelerators (linacs) and the use of widely-available software to design and optimize transport systems and accelerators.

Undergraduate electricity and magnetism course, undergraduate mechanics course, calculus through differential equations, familiarity with computers.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she meets the course prerequisites or has equivalent experience.

The course will focus on the fundamental principles of acceleration and particle transport. Enough accelerator theory will be presented to establish a solid groundwork of understanding, and the students will participate in the design of several accelerator subsystems.

Instructional Method
The course will combine lectures with a team approach involving the students. Morning lectures will be followed by the students forming several teams, each of which will work together, using computers loaded with appropriate software to work through the design of an accelerator or transport system that will satisfy a given set of requirements. The course will have three instructors who will interact with the teams, and it is expected that each team member will actively teach the others in the computer lab part of the course. The students will be expected to interact highly with the instructor during the lecture part of the course.

Course Content
The lectures will cover the physics of RF linear accelerators for protons including the use of popular computer codes to design and optimize simple beam transport systems, drift-tube linacs and radio-frequency quadrupole (RFQ) accelerators, as well as elliptic-cavity superconducting structures. The course will cover basic beam transport theory including the description of beams, beam transport and collective effects and how to apply codes such as Parmila, Parmteq and Trace-3D. The beam dynamics of low-energy linacs will be covered and example accelerators will be designed by the students using codes such as Parmila for drift-tube accelerators and Parmteq for RFQ accelerators. The course will also include basic electromagnetics design of low-energy linac cavities, using 2-D simulation codes such as Superfish, as well as the basic design of magnetic and electrostatic beam transport elements. Afternoon laboratory sessions apply the subject matter in the lectures to the design of accelerator examples.

Reading Requirements
The recommended text is “RF Linear Accelerators” by Thomas Wangler, Wiley & Sons publishers (to be provided by the USPAS). The material in the textbook will be covered in a non-linear method, and will be accompanied by extra material written by the instructors, covering both accelerator theory and support information for the computer codes used in the course.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on their performance: 35% homework, 35% computer lab sessions and 30% final exam.

IU/USPAS course number P571