U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Unifying Physics of Accelerators, Lasers and Plasma – Synergy and Bridges course

Sponsoring University:

University of New Mexico


Unifying Physics of Accelerators, Lasers and Plasma – Synergy and Bridges


Andrei A. Seryi, John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Purpose and Audience
This one-week course will aim at creation of bridges and connections between three areas of physics,
essential for developments of next generation accelerators – physics of accelerators, lasers and
plasma. The course will be suitable for students of various levels between senior undergraduate and
graduate students in physics, those who are interested in enhancing their ability to work successfully on
development of next generation facilities, devices, scientific instruments, arising from synergy of these
three areas.

Students should have good knowledge of Classical Mechanics and Electrodynamics, at entrance graduate level. Familiarity with the concepts of special relativity and quantum mechanics is recommended.

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

This course will focus on the key phenomena and concepts of accelerator, laser and plasma physics,
building-up cross-understanding in these three areas. Upon completing this course, students become
fluent in physics concepts, terminology and methods used in these three areas, and should become
more effective in their research and innovations that span across these fields.

Instructional Method
This course will offer a series of lectures during morning sessions, followed by afternoon tutorial
sessions. The tutorial sessions will be focused on analysis of key inventions that shaped these three
scientific areas, and on considering and solving various problems and mini-projects by small teams of
several students, followed by oral reports. Homework problems will be assigned daily. There will be a
final exam on the last day of the class.

Course Content
During the course we will focus on several key phenomena that span across these three areas, and will
focus on in-depth understanding of similarities and differences of physics, as well on studying
differences of terminology and mathematical apparatus used for description of similar phenomena
in these areas of physics. We will review in particular, focusing of particle and laser beams, classical
and plasma assisted, will review design and properties of resonant structures, such as radiofrequency
resonators, laser mirror cavities, plasma resonance properties, will review the methods of beam
acceleration and laser pulse amplification, classical and plasma-assisted, will discuss the methods of
compressing and manipulation of particle and laser pulses, will discuss instabilities in particle beams
and in plasma as well as cooling and damping, an so on. During our work on problems and miniprojects,
as well as during review of the key inventions, we will use the methodology of the theory of
inventive problem solving to uncover innovative solutions based on scientific effects across and
outside the considered areas.

Reading requirements
Reading materials will be suggested by the instructor.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: homework assignments (30% of final grade), tutorial
session reports (40% of final grade) and final exams (30% of final grade).

IU/USPAS course: Physics 671