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

Particle Driven Plasma Wakefield Accelerators course

Sponsoring University:

Michigan State University (ONLINE)


Particle Driven Plasma Wakefield Accelerators


Michael Litos, University of Colorado; Spencer Gessner, SLAC

Purpose and Audience
This course will introduce the physics associated with one of the most promising new accelerations techniques for enabling compact next generation accelerators through obtaining ultra-high gradients (i.e. > GV/m) by particle-beam-driven plasma wakefields. It is suitable for graduate students or upper division undergraduate students with an interest in this promising multi-disciplinary field. The course is also appropriate for physicists or engineers working in accelerator-related fields who wish to familiarize themselves with advanced accelerator concepts.

Upper division Electromagnetism, Classical Mechanics, and knowledge of accelerators science and technology at the level of USPAS Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab or USPAS graduate Accelerator Physics is required.

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

This course provides the fundamentals needed to understand particle-driven plasma wakefield acceleration mechanisms, as well as some of the computational and experimental tools needed to explore the physical phenomena involved. It gives an introduction to the field, permitting the student to be conversant in the research literature describing the state-of-the-art, as well as a foundation for entering into this exciting field with promise to enable high gradient acceleration.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of lectures and computational laboratory sessions on related subject matter. Regular problem sets, to be completed during and outside of scheduled class time, will be assigned in the lecture sessions. The instructors and teaching assistants will be available for guidance during evening homework sessions. There will be a simulation-based final project at the conclusion of the course.

Course Content
The course will begin with a review of concepts from accelerator physics and plasma physics. For accelerator physics, we will cover Courant-Snyder parameters, transfer matrixes, beam emittance, bunch distributions, and Green’s functions for wakefield. For plasma physics, we will cover the Vlasov equation, fluid models, and waves in plasma.

Next, we will cover plasma wakefield acceleration theory.¬† A linear electrostatic theory of plasma wakefield acceleration (PWFA) is developed and used to analyze acceleration and focusing in the linear regime. The limitations of the linear regime being noted, we proceed to discuss the nonlinear “blowout” regime, in which emittance dilution in all phase planes is mitigated. Scaling laws governing the nonlinear regime of PWFA are developed. Betatron motion and its attendant radiative processes are discussed. The use of positron and proton drivers for plasma wakefields and their relevant physics are introduced.

The experimental state-of-the-art, including advanced methods developed specifically for PWFA experiments, is reviewed. Potential applications in particle physics and light source development, such as: electron-positron colliders, compact FELs, adiabatic plasma lenses, and betatron radiation. Particle-in-Cell simulation tools (VSim) will be used to understand and visualize wakefield concepts.

Reading Requirements
Course materials and lecture notes will be provided by the instructors.

Suggested Reading 
- J. Rosenzweig, Fundamentals of Beam Physics, Oxford Univ. Press, 2003

- J. D. Lawson, The Physics of Charged-Particle Beams, Oxford Univ. Press, 1988

- A. Seryi, Unifying Physics of Accelerators, Lasers and Plasma, CRC Press, 2015

- F. Chen, Introduction to Plasma Physics, Springer, 2012

- Perspective students prepare for the course in advance and/or evaluate the fit of the course to their goals  and/or prepare for the course in advance by reviewing the materials in the last version of the course given in the winter summer 20172020 USPAS session https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12Rk5H50Z54B9N3WVPl8tBIbixYabJ88R

Credit Requirements:
Students evaluation will be based on the homework assignments (70 % of course grade) and a final simulation-based project (30% of course grade).

Michigan State University course number: PHY 963
Indiana University course number: Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
MIT course number: 8.790, Accelerator Physics