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

Accelerator Physics

Sponsoring University:

Stony Brook University (ONLINE)

Course Name:

Accelerator Physics


Steven Lund, Michigan State University and USPAS; Yue Hao, Michigan State University; Yichao Jing, Brookhaven National Lab; Jonathan Wong, Oak Ridge National Lab

Purpose and Audience
The purpose of this course is to give a broad theoretical foundation to the physics and technology of charged particle accelerators. This course is suitable for graduate students from physics and engineering who are interested in accelerators as part of their research or career goals, or scientists and engineers who want more detail on the physics of accelerator systems.

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

On successful completion of this course, students should attain a basic understanding of the physics of charged particle accelerators. Emphasis is on theoretical and analytical methods of describing the focusing and acceleration of charged particle beams. Some aspects of numerical and experimental methods will also be covered. Topics are systematically developed to provide a foundation toward understanding a diversity of linear and circular machines. Example applications are highlighted to attain a better understanding of accelerator systems used in a plethora of fields such as high energy and nuclear physics, light sources for materials science, medical technology, and industrial applications.

Instructional Method
Daily lectures will begin in an initial “morning” session of two hours duration, followed by a “lunch” break of one hour, then an “afternoon” session of variable duration that may continue lectures, recitation sections to review problems, and simulation exercises. Problem sets will be assigned that will be expected to be completed outside of scheduled class sessions. Problem sets will generally be due during morning lectures 48 hours after assigned. Afternoon recitation sections will review problems turned in and will engage the students on material covered in lecture. Afternoon computer exercises employing cloud-based computing resources will be applied to illustrate concepts covered. A comprehensive take-home final exam will be given on the last Thursday of the course which will be due at the start of the final lecture. The final will be open note and book and will be due at the start of the last Friday morning lectures of the course. Students are encouraged to work together on homeworks while turning in their own solutions. Independent work is required on the final. Lecturers and graders will be available for questions during evening homework sessions. Course notes, problems sets, and the final exam will be distributed via the course web site.

Course Website
To be posted closer to date of course. 

Course Content
This course provides a systematic introduction to the physics of charged particle beam accelerators. Topics include:

  • Particle sources and injectors
  • Field calculations of magnetic and electric focusing and bending optics
  • Particle equations of motion
  • Multipole descriptions of applied focusing and bending fields
  • Thin-lens and quadrupole focusing;
  • Edge focusing
  • Solenoid focusing and beam canonical angular momentum
  • Phase amplitude methods and Hill’s equation to describe linear focusing
  • Phase advance in periodic focusing lattices
  • The Courant-Snyder invariant and beam emittance
  • Symplectic dynamics
  • Dispersive and chromatic effects
  • Momentum compaction in rings
  • Acceleration induced effects on beam emittance
  • Resonance effects
  • Longitudinal particle acceleration with emphasis on RF technology
  • RF cavities and traveling wave structures
  • Panofsky’s equation describing longitudinal RF focusing
  • Longitudinal beam dynamics in linacs and rings
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Electron storage rings
  • Undulator radiation
  • Free electron lasers
  • Hadron beam cooling; space-charge effects
  • New acceleration techniques
Concepts are illustrated by brief application sketches applying to a variety of linear and circular architecture machines including synchrotrons, electron storage rings, and light sources. Various topics are further highlighted in simulation labs using cloud-based computer resources.  

Reading Requirements
Extensive class notes will be provided that will serve as the primary reference. Students must have a laptop or tablet with a web browser to read notes and better participate on cloud-based computer exercises. Access to a tablet or touchscreen computer is recommended to facilitate better communication in recitations and homework sessions. Students are encouraged to open a free github server account (https://github.com/) in advance to expedite setup of the computer exercises. Notes will be archived and updated on a course web site.

The course will be similar and updated from USPAS Accelerator Physics, taught in Summer 2018: https://people.nscl.msu.edu/~lund/uspas/ap_2018/.  Students wishing to prepare in advance can review materials from this course. 

A supplemental text will be provided by the USPAS: SY Lee, Accelerator Physics, Fourth Edition, (World Scientific, 2019).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: homework assignments (70% grade), class participation (10% grade), and a “take home” final exam (20% grade).

Stony Brook University course number: PHY 554 01
Indiana University course number: Physics 570, Introduction to Accelerator Physics
Michigan State University course number: PHY 963 - 301 - Accelerator Physics
MIT course number: 8.790, Accelerator Physics