U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab course

Sponsoring University:

University of New Mexico


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


William A. Barletta, USPAS/MIT and Mei Bai, Brookhaven National Lab

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 a particular interest in accelerator-based science.

College-level courses in physics that include electromagnetism and special realitivity.

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 with an emphasis on basic relationships, definitions, and applications of radio frequency accelerators found in the fields of sub-atomic physics, synchrotron light sources, radiation therapy, and industrial processing. Upon completing this course, students should understand the basic workings of accelerators, how to measure the characteristics of the beams they produce, and be able to analyze experimental observations in terms of fundamental beam dynamics.

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 Content
The lectures will begin with a review of the relevant special relativity and electromagnetic theory as applied to beam properties and acceleration techniques. Figures of merit will be introduced as measures relevant to the utility of accelerators in science, medicine and industry. Lectures will examine the historical development of accelerators and their past and present applications to establish principles of acceleration, including the physics of linear accelerators, synchrotrons, and storage rings. Basic components such as bending and focusing magnets, electrostatic deflectors, beam diagnostics and radio frequency accelerating structures will be described. The basic concepts of magnet design will be introduced, along with discussions of design of particle beam optics. Topics in longitudinal and transverse beam dynamics will be explored, including synchrotron and betatron particle motion. Lastly, a number of additional special topics will be reviewed, including synchrotron radiation sources, free electron lasers, high energy colliders, and accelerators for radiation therapy.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) “Particle Accelerator Physics”, (third edition) Springer-Verlag (2007) by Helmut Wiedemann. Optional reading materials will be supplied in electronic form.

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).