U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Special Topics in Accelerator Physics course

Sponsoring University:

Michigan State University


Special Topics in Accelerator Physics


Alex Chao and Yunhai Cai, SLAC National Accelerator Lab

Purpose and Audience
Accelerator physics is a rich branch of physics covering a wide range of exciting topics. A selection of these topics will be covered in this course. A good knowledge of basic accelerator physics at the level of the USPAS Accelerator Physics course, is assumed. Although advanced in nature, each topic is introduced and developed based on first principles.


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

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

Although they are not expected to become experts, on completion of this course, the students are expected to develop a grasp on approximately half a dozen advanced accelerator physics topics.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of lectures and exercise sessions. Homework problems will be suggested daily 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
Panofsky-Wenzel theorem of wake fields, echo effects, laser acceleration in free space, Vlasov and Fokker-Planck equations, galaxy instability, symplectic maps, Truncated power series algebra, Lie algebra.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) Lecture notes will be distributed in class.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on their performance on the final exam.

IU/USPAS course: Physics 571