U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab

Sponsoring University:

Old Dominion University

Course Name:

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


Michael Syphers, Northern Illinois University / Fermilab and Elvin Harms, Fermilab

Purpose and Audience
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the physics and technology of particle beam accelerators. This course is suitable for last year undergraduate students or students from other fields considering accelerator physics as a possible career. This course also can provide a broader background to engineers and technicians working in the field of accelerator technology.

Courses in College Physics and first year Calculus.

Below is a sample of the type of homework problems assigned in this course. The equations, etc., necessary to solve this problem will be given in class:

In an electron cooling system, a beam of electrons with extremely parallel trajectories travels along with a proton beam over a portion of the circumference of a circular accelerator.  As the particles scatter off of each other, the electrons gain transverse momentum (and are then discarded, and the electron beam regenerated) while the proton transverse oscillations will decrease over time.  To work efficiently, the proton beam and the electron beam must be traveling at the same average speed.

a)  If a proton in the beam has kinetic energy 500 MeV, what fraction of the speed of light corresponds to their speed? 
b)  What must be the average kinetic energy of the electrons in the system? 

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

This introductory course tries to avoid heavy mathematical treatment and will focus on the fundamental principles of particle accelerators and beam dynamics. Fundamental physics and technologies of particle acceleration are explored, with emphasis on basic relationships, definitions, and applications found in the field of particle accelerators. On completion of this course, the students are expected to understand the basic workings of accelerators and their components. Furthermore, they will comprehend basic principles and definitions of beam dynamics and will be able to analyze experimental observations in terms of fundamental beam dynamics.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of lectures during morning sessions, followed by afternoon laboratory sessions, which will introduce students to computer simulations and provide hands-on exploration of magnets, radio-frequency cavities, particle beam instrumentation and measuring devices, as well as exercises in particle motion and stability. Problem sets will be assigned which will be expected to be completed outside of scheduled class sessions. Two instructors will be available at all times.

Course Content
Introductory material will include discussions of classical dynamics and relativity, synchrotron radiation, the historical development of accelerators, and uses of particle accelerators. Basic components such as bending and focusing magnets, electrostatic deflectors, and radio frequency accelerating structures will be described. Comparisons between hadron and electron accelerators will be presented, and examples of modern accelerator facilities discussed as well as state-of-the-art accelerator R&D.

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.  You may also want to read  "An Introduction to Particle Accelerators," Oxford University Press (2001) by E.J.N. Wilson.

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

Old Dominion
University course number: PHYS 460, "Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab" (undergraduate credit)
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"