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

VUV and X-ray Free Electron Lasers

Sponsoring University:


Course Name:

VUV and X-ray Free Electron Lasers


Dinh Nguyen, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Petr Anisimov, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Nicole Neveu, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Purpose and Audience
This one-week course introduces the physics of coherent radiation generation in a free electron laser (FEL) driven by RF linac and operating in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and x-ray regions. The topics to be discussed include high-brightness electron beam generation and acceleration, bunch compression, incoherent undulator radiation, coherent radiation in an FEL, self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE), Bragg crystal monochromatization, self-seeding, Regenerative Amplifiers (RAFEL) and XFEL Oscillators (XFELO), as well as various harmonic generation techniques.

Upper division undergraduate courses in classical mechanics and in electromagnetism (at the level of "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffiths).

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they meet the course prerequisites or have equivalent experience.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students, scientists and technologists to the physics of VUV and x-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL) driven by radio-frequency linear accelerators. Upon completion of this course, the students are expected to understand the fundamental concepts and basic components of VUV and x-ray FELs. After completing the course, the students will be able to 1) understand the functions and requirements of various components of an FEL, 2) become familiar with different VUV and XFEL techniques (SASE, seeded SASE, regenerative amplifier, XFELO, high-gain harmonic generation, echo-enhanced harmonic generation, etc.) and 3) be able to analyze and compare different VUV and XFEL configurations in terms of electron beam requirements and FEL performance. They will also learn the contemporary techniques to generate ultrafast (i.e., femtosecond and attosecond) x-ray pulses with an XFEL.

Instructional Method
The course consists of lectures in both morning (theory and experiments) and afternoon sessions (simulations). Some of the afternoon sessions involve FEL simulation work. Optional evening sessions can be held to explain homework assignments.

Course Content

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by USPAS) “Free-Electron Lasers in the Ultraviolet and X-Ray Regime” 2nd edition (Springer 2014) by Peter Schmüser, Martin Dohlus and Jörg Rossbach. Instructors will also provide lecture notes.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance as follows: final exam (40% of final grade), homework assignments (30%) and computer class (30%).

TBD course number:
Indiana University course number:
Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
Michigan State University course number: PHY 963, "U.S. Particle Accelerator School"
MIT course number: 8.790, Accelerator Physics