U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Accelerator Physics course

Sponsoring University:

Stony Brook University


Accelerator Physics


Waldo MacKay, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Todd Satogata, Jefferson Lab

Purpose and Audience
The purpose of this course is to give a theoretical foundation to the physics and technology of particle accelerators. It is designed for students at the graduate level. 

Students should have had Special Relativity, Classical Mechanics and Electrodynamics at the junior level or higher. Knowledge of relativistic 4-vector notation and Classical Hamiltonian Dynamics is recommended.

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

The students should gain basic knowledge of the physics (and jargon) of particle accelerators. By the end of the course students should have a good grasp of the physics and be able to analyze and design ring accelerators such as synchrotron light sources and synchrotrons for high energy beams. Additionally students should obtain an understanding of instrumentation and beam diagnostic measurements.

Instructional Method

Classes are held on weekdays over a two week period with around 5 hours of in-class lectures and computer labs per day, except for the final Friday which ends by noon. Homework will be assigned every day to be turned in the following day.

Course Content
This course is an introduction to the basic physics of high-energy particle accelerators. Topics include accelerator magnets, instrumentation and beam measurements, single particle transverse and longitudinal motion, Liouville's theorem, emittances, effects of linear magnet errors, chromatic effects, nonlinearities, rf systems, synchrotron radiation, collective effects, beam-beam interaction, and polarized beams. Emphasis will be on establishing a firm basic knowledge of the physics of modern high-energy accelerators. There will be some computer labs with simulations to emphasize important concepts.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) "An Introduction to the Physics of Particle Accelerators" [second edition] by Mario Conte and William W. MacKay, World Scientific Pub. Co. (2008). Supplementary notes will be handed out during the course.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance approximately as follows: final exam (25% of final grade), homework assignments ( 60% of final grade), computer/lab sessions ( 15% of final grade).

Stony Brook University course: PHY 545

IU/USPAS course: Physics 570