U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Principles of RF Superconductivity course

Sponsoring University:

Duke University


Principles of RF Superconductivity
Duke PHY745 Section 4, "Special Topics in Accelerator Physics"


Sergey Belomestnykh and Wencan Xu, Brookhaven National Lab

Purpose and Audience
This one-week graduate-level course covers physics and technology applications of RF superconductivity and its applications to contemporary particle accelerators. The course will address fundamentals of RF superconductivity, types of superconducting RF (SRF) accelerating structures, phenomena limiting performance of those, beam-cavity interactions issues specific to superconducting cavities, cavity fabrication, preparation and testing, different approaches to designing SRF systems and engineering of superconducting cavity cryomodules. The course is intended for graduate students pursuing accelerator physics and graduate engineers and physicists who want to familiarize themselves with superconducting RF systems.

Previous courses in classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electrodynamics, and physical or engineering mathematics, all at entrance graduate level.

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 students are expected to understand the physics underlying RF superconductivity and its application to accelerators, the advantages and limitations of SRF technology. The aim is to provide students with ideas and approaches enabling them to evaluate and solve problems related to application of superconducting cavities to accelerators, and actively participate in engineering of SRF systems for various accelerators.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of about 15 lectures during morning and afternoon sessions. In addition, there will be computer lab and exercise sessions. Homework problems will be assigned. Homework will be graded and answers provided in the exercise sessions. There will be a final exam at the conclusion of the course.

Course Content
The course will include a brief introduction of the basic concepts of microwave cavities and transmission lines. This will be followed by in-depth coverage of principles of RF superconductivity. Different types of SRF structures will be introduced. Then it will cover field emission, multipacting and beam-cavity interaction issues in accelerators. Following that we will discuss cavity fabrication and preparation techniques, and cavity testing. Finally, we will address issues related to engineering of SRF systems and components: cryostats, cavities, input couplers, higher order mode couplers and loads, and frequency tuners. A brief overview of the most important challenges in RF superconductivity will conclude the course.

Reading Requirements
“RF Superconductivity for Accelerators”, by H. Padamsee, J. Knobloch, and T. Hays, John Wiley & Sons, 2nd edition (2008) (to be provided by USPAS).

It is recommended that students re-familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of electrodynamics at the level of “Fields and Waves in Communication Electronics“ (Chapters 1 through 11) by S. Ramo, J. R. Whinnery, and T. Van Duzer, John Wiley & Sons, 3rd edition (1994) or “Classical Electrodynamics” (Chapters 1
through 8) by J. D. Jackson, John Wiley & Sons, 3rd edition (1999). Additional suggested reference books: “Handbook of Accelerator Physics and Engineering”, edited by A. W. Chao and M. Tigner, World Scientific, 3rd print (2006) and “RF Superconductivity: Science, Technology, and Applications,” by H. Padamsee, Wiley-VCH (2009).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on the following performances: final exam (40%), homework assignments and class participation (35%) and computer lab project (25%).

IU/USPAS course: Physics 671