U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Modern Computational Accelerator Physics course

Sponsoring University:

Old Dominion University


Modern Computational Accelerator Physics


James Amundson, Alexandru Macridin and Panagiotis Spentzouris, Fermilab

The design and optimization of modern particle accelerators depends heavily on the utilization of computer simulations. This course will provide an introduction to numerical and computational methods for accelerator physics as well as the context in which different methods are applicable. Emphasis will be placed on modeling beam dynamics; the example applications will be relevant to ILC components. The primary audience will be students and physicists who are using, or planning to use, accelerator modeling tools for accelerator design or optimization applications. 

The students must have first taken the USPAS graduate course "Accelerator Physics" or the equivalent and have some programming experience.

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

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to effectively utilize computational beam dynamics simulation techniques and have a basic understanding of the requirements for developing such tools.

Instructional Method
The course will span one week. For the first four days, each morning and afternoon the students will receive one hour of lecture, followed by one hour of lab in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. The last day will be entirely labs and discussions. The computational aspect of the course will utilize high-level languages, state-of-the-art numerical libraries, and production beam dynamics codes. The students will be assigned daily homeworks and a take-home final exam.

Course Content
Topics will include a review of the Hamiltonian formalism, numerical integration, single-particle optics, collective effects, and parallel computations. The laboratory exercises will begin with simple single-particle calculations involving idealized optical systems and progress to multi-particle simulations of collective effects. By the end of the week, the students will have gained familiarity with the algorithms commonly used in PIC codes. Throughout the course we will discuss the physics implementation and the numerical algorithms used in the laboratory problems.

Reading Requirements
Course notes, relevant papers, and reference material will be distributed by the instructors before the beginning of the course.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: lab/homework sessions (50% of final grade), final exam (50% of final grade).

IU/USPAS course number P671