U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Plasma Physics Concepts in Beams course

Sponsoring University:

College of William and Mary


Plasma Physics Concepts in Beams


Patrick Colestock, LANL

This course gives an introduction to plasma physics for accelerator scientists wishing to explore the common physical basis of these two fields. The basic characteristics of a plasma will be described and compared to comparable phenomena inherent in both low-energy and high-energy beams, including Debye shielding, plasma oscillations, wave propagation, and stability. Moreover, the powerful theoretical methods developed in plasma physics will be developed to describe linear collective effects such as Landau damping, weakly nonlinear effects such as quasi-linear diffusion, mode saturation, echoes and weak turbulence, as well as strongly nonlinear effects commonly observed in beams such as solitons. Topics will be developed both in a formal manner mathematically with specific examples taken from actual experiments. In addition, a brief introduction to plasma physics applications for modern accelerators will be covered, including plasma acceleration, plasma focusing, and plasma-based light sources. No previous experience in plasma physics is required. Prerequisites: Accelerator Physics, Classical Mechanics, complex variables and Electromagnetism.