U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab


University of New Mexico

Course Name:

Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab
This course is full. Please contact uspas@fnal.gov to have your name added to the waiting list.


Linda Spentzouris and Pavel Snopok, Illinois Institute of Technology; Nicole Neveu, SLAC; Josiah Kunz, Anderson University; Tanaz Mohayai, Elvin Harms and Bob Zwaska, Fermilab

Purpose and Audience
This course is an introduction to the underlying principles and uses of the nearly 14,000 particle accelerators that are used worldwide in medicine, industry, and scientific research. The course is suitable for senior undergraduate and entry-level graduate students in physics and engineering or students from other fields with interest in accelerator-based science.  The course is also appropriate for engineers and technicians working in accelerator-related fields who wish to broaden their background.

A general understanding of classical physics at the introductory level, and electromagnetism at a junior undergraduate level (such as found, for example, in "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffiths).  Also, some exposure to special relativity is helpful (at the level of "Special Relativity" by A.P. French or "Introduction to Special Relativity" by Robert Resnick).

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

This course focuses on the physical principles of particle accelerators and beams. Lectures will review and synthesize concepts from special relativity and electromagnetics in the context of particle accelerators.  Upon completing this course, students should understand the basic principles of particle accelerators, and how to interpret the measured characteristics of the beams they produce.

Instructional Method
This course will offer a series of lectures during morning sessions, followed by afternoon laboratory sessions. The laboratory sessions will introduce students to computer simulations and measurements of magnets and rf cavities. The lab course will emphasize the comparison of measurement data with computer simulation results. The students will be required to write lab reports and will be graded on them. Homework problems will be assigned each day and instructors will be available to help answer questions about the homework and lectures during the evening exercise sessions and the weekend. There will be a final exam on the last day of the class.

Course Contents
The lectures will begin with a review of the relevant special relativity, dynamics, and electromagnetic theory as applied to beam properties and accelerator components.  Basic components such as bending and focusing magnets, beam diagnostics and radio frequency accelerating structures will be described.  A variety of machine lattices and types of accelerating structures will be touched upon. The lecture material will proceed through the basic principles of single particle motion, both transverse and longitudinal.  This includes a discussion of applied electromagnetic restoring forces responsible for capturing particles in oscillations about a desired trajectory in an accelerator, storage ring, or transport line. Synchrotron radiation is covered, as well as methods of beam characterization, such as beam emittance.   As time permits, special topics such as collective effects (wakefields, space charge) or specific accelerator technologies will be surveyed.

Reading Requirements
Course reading materials and homework assignments will be supplied in electronic form.  In addition, reference material (to be provided by the USPAS) will be provided; "An Introduction to the Physics of High Energy Accelerators", by D.A. Edwards and M.J. Syphers, Wiley Interscience, 1992.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: homework assignments (40% of final grade), laboratory reports (30% of final grade), final exam (30% of final grade). 

University of New Mexico course number: ECE 595-001
Indiana University course number: Physics 470, Accelerator Fundamentals (undergraduate credit)
MIT course number: 8.277, Introduction to Particle Accelerators