Faculty Research Areas - Accelerator Physics and Engineering

Superconducting Radio Frequency Systems (SRF)

New advances in SRF have allowed the present facility to incorporate new techniques in the capture, charge breeding, and then re-acceleration of heavy ions generated at NSCL. The SRF department explores advancements in SRF technology and their applications to the field. For example, the NSCL ReAccelerator uses SRF cavities to form bunched beams of rare isotopes with well-defined energies pertinent to nuclear and astrophysical investigations.

Cryogenics R&D

The field of cryogenics – the branch of physics that studies the causes and effects of extremely low temperatures -- is central to the operation of most modern accelerator facilities. The broad importance of cryogenic systems to the field of accelerator physics is reflected in their key role in the success of the NSCL experimental program, and is exemplified by the research performed at NSCL faculty. Future experiments also will likely use cryogenics and superconducting magnets as part of their apparatus, making excellence in cryogenics as well as developing the future experts in cryogenics important components of the NSCL mission.

Ion Source Research

The ion particle beams produced at NSCL begin at an ion source. NSCL has a long history of developing intense ion sources for use in nuclear physics, especially a type known as the high field Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) ion source. Research in this area is of great interest for next generation heavy ion accelerators that rely on high field superconducting ECRIS as injector systems such as RIBF in Japan, SPIRAL II in France, and FRIB in the United States. The ECR ion source research involves the interplay of many disciplines of physics and technology, such as plasma physics, superconductivity, RF fields, high power sources, particle beam transport, and beam diagnostics.

Particle Beam Physics and Accelerator Design

NSCL faculty members have experience working on the overall design of large-scale accelerators and beam lines at numerous laboratories around the world, and bring that experience to MSU for further development of NSCL facilities and to the design efforts for FRIB here on campus. This work involves the development of particle beam optical elements and their layout for focusing, steering, and accelerating particles, the evaluation of beam size and the stability of motion with respect to the design trajectory in all three degrees of freedom, the self-interaction of particles within the beam as well as their interaction with the surrounding environment, and overall optimization of accelerator systems with respect to beam performance.

Beam Instrumentation and Diagnostics

In a user facility, beam quality is a key issue. Beam diagnostics have to provide the important tools to investigate beam properties. At NSCL and FRIB, as at other facilities, the continued development of such devices will be necessary for the improved delivery of beams of ever-higher quality to future experiments. The faculty leads a strong educational program in instrumentation, detector physics, and the diagnosis of the measurements to determine beam properties, offering many opportunities for graduate and undergraduate student training in this cross-disciplinary subject.

Accelerator Control and Operations

In order to deliver the right beam for cutting edge experiments, one of the many technical challenges is to control the particle beams in real time to satisfy the many physics parameters required along the accelerator and beam lines. The complexity of any modern accelerator makes manual beam tuning virtually impossible, so computer software is heavily used for beam tuning and operation automation. Quick on-line physics modeling provides a powerful tool for such beam tuning, and to achieve high availability for an accelerator as a user facility, reliable and high performance software is critical.

NSCL Accelerator Physics Department Panel and their FRIB responsibilities
(Faculty are linked to their research profile):

F. Casagrande (FRIB Cryogenics Department Manager)
P. Chu (FRIB Applications Software Physicist)
A. Facco (FRIB Accelerator Systems Division Senior Advisor)
D. Leitner (FRIB Reaccelerator Area Manager)
M. Leitner (FRIB SRF Department Manager)
F. Marti (FRIB Charge Stripper & Transport Area Manager)
D. Morris (FRIB RF Group Leader)
S. Peng (FRIB Controls & Computing Department Manager)
E. Pozdeyev (FRIB Front End Area Manager)
K. Saito (FRIB SRF Development Manager and Group Leader)
M. Syphers
B. Webber (FRIB Diagnostics Group Leader)
J. Wei (Chair; FRIB Accelerator Systems Division Director)
Y. Yamazaki (FRIB Accelerator Systems Deputy Director and Accelerator Physics Group Leader)
Y. Zhang (FRIB Linac Segment Area Manager)