U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab


Northern Illinois University and UT-Battelle

Course Name:

Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab (undergraduate level)


Sarah Cousineau, UT Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Lab; Jeff Holmes and Nick Evans, Oak Ridge National Lab

Purpose and Audience
This course is intended as an introduction to the field of accelerator physics and technology and is suitable for senior undergraduate students or students from other fields with a particular interest in accelerator physics. The course is also appropriate for engineers and technicians working in accelerator-related fields who wish to broaden their background.

Either previous coursework or a general understanding of classical mechanics and electromagnetism. Courses in special relativity (at the level of "Special Relativity" by A.P. French or "Introduction to Special Relativity" by Robert Resnick), classical mechanics and electrodynamics (at the level of "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffiths) at a junior undergraduate level or higher.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she meets the course prerequisites or has equivalent experience. Students may self-evaluate using these questions.

This course will focus on the fundamental principles of acceleration and transport of charged particle beams. A theoretical understanding of the principals, provided through daily lectures, will be coupled to a practical implementation of the concepts through laboratory exercises.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of lectures in the morning, followed by afternoon laboratory sessions on related subject matter. Laboratory sessions will include computer simulations and experimental measurements employing accelerator hardware. Students will write and submit lab reports for the majority of the lab exercises. Additional problem sets, to be completed outside of scheduled class time, will be assigned in the morning lecture sessions. Problem sets will be graded in a timely fashion, and feedback will be provided by the instructors.

Course Content
The lectures will begin with a review of the historical development of accelerators and their past and present applications. Following a brief review of special relativity, the bulk of the course will focus on acceleration methods and phase stability, basic concepts of magnet design, and transverse linear particle motion.  An introduction to resonances, linear coupling, space charge, magnet errors, and synchrotron radiation will also be given.  The afternoon laboratory sessions will provide hands on experience with hardware and instrumentation for beam diagnostic measurements. Complimentary computer lab modules will be used as aides for lattice design exercises and beam optics studies.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) "An Introduction to the Physics of High Energy Accelerators," Wiley Publishers (1993) by D.A. Edwards and M.J. Syphers. Additional handouts with supplementary material will be provided by the course instructors.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: homework assignments (35% of final grade) computer/lab sessions (35% of final grade), and an in-class final exam (30% of final grade).

Northern Illinois University course number: PHYS 459 - Special Problems in Physics
Indiana University course number: Physics 470, "Accelerator Fundamentals" (undergraduate credit)
Michigan State University course number: PHY 963, "U.S. Particle Accelerator School"
MIT course number: 8.277, "Introduction to Particle Accelerators"