DPhil projects

Information for home and EU applicants

Studentships currently open for applications:

Dr Ivan Konoplev

Single-Shot Smith-Purcell Longitudinal Bunch Profile Monitor with fs resolution

Accurate knowledge of the longitudinal profile of an electron bunch is important in the context of linear colliders, wake-field accelerators and next-generation light sources including X-ray FELs, THz sources and Compton lasers. The profile becomes progressively more difficult to measure as the particle bunches become shorter (fs-scale) or more complex (micro-modulated bunches). Therefore, it is essential to be able to determine the temporal profile with fs resolution, non-destructively and in a single shot. Without this capability it will be very difficult to satisfy the criteria for the novel light sources and improve further the performance of the accelerators. Within the next ten years new generation of accelerators is likely to have a significant impact not only on basic science but also on industry (lithography, composite material development) and society (medical equipment and security). All these areas stand to benefit from this project as the development of the monitor will create a new fundamental diagnostic tool required for these applications. UK will also greatly benefit from becoming a leader in this research field and gain the momentum in this strategic area of accelerators development.

The objectives of this project are:
1) to design and build the first prototype of a single-shot longitudinal bunch-profile monitor;
2) to install it at CLARA accelerator facility (Daresbury Lab, STFC UK) and to commission it;
3) to measure beam profile with fs resolution and to compare the results with those from other diagnostic devices at CLARA accelerator facilty.
4) to write the research papers, complete and submit the PhD thesis.

The operational principles of the conceptual design of the monitor which has been recently developed were tested at SLAC (Stanford, USA) and LUCX (KEK, Japan). The results achieved will be exploited to minimise the monitor size and complexity. To reduce time and the cost of the construction the first prototype will use some of the hardware built for the multi-shot monitor studied at SLAC (supported by STFC). The prototype will have a single grating, 11 optical channels and beam positioning monitors. Sampling and analysis of the cSPr signal at 11 frequencies in the range from 0.2THz to 1THz will achieve the required resolution of 10fs.

The work will be carried out in close collaboration with FMB-Oxford (industrial partner) and CLARA team. The technical design will be based on the conceptual model which has been recently developed. FMB-Oxford located only 30 minute walk from the Department and it will bring its expertise in design of diagnostics for accelerators and knowledge of specialist techniques required to design and test the monitor.

For more information please contact Dr Ivan Konoplev (ivan.konoplev@physics.ox.ac.uk)

Dr Suzie Sheehy

High intensity accelerator physics using a Paul ion trap

This project will focus on implementing a novel tabletop-sized experimental system to test ground breaking concepts in particle accelerator physics.

Particle accelerators which can provide very intense beams of hadrons are critical for future developments in particle physics and societal applications. Accelerators are usually based on linear focusing systems, but the dynamics of intense particle beams is inherently non-linear. Recently, ideas have arisen for new accelerators that may allow an increase in beam power of up to two orders of magnitude using concepts such as ‘Non-linear Integrable Optics’ (NIO). To circumvent both computational and experimental limitations, this research uses a scaled experimental system known as a Paul ion trap to address some of the most challenging questions in the field of intense particle beam dynamics.

The ultimate goal of this DPhil project, together with other group members, is to design and build a novel non-linear Paul trap to demonstrate Non-linear Integrable Optics (NIO). Depending on the student’s interest, the project may also involve the development of novel diagnostics sufficient to characterise the trapped ions. Ultimately, this research could lead to important developments not just in physics, but also in areas as diverse as medicine and energy.

The student will also work closely with colleagues in the Intense Beams Group at the STFC ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and a range of opportunities for international travel for experimental collaborations and conferences are available.

Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours, as a minimum, in physics. This would normally be an undergraduate masters' degree, known as an MPhys in the UK and taken over four years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or over five years in Scotland, though international equivalents are also considered.

Development of fixed-field accelerators with future application to radioisotope production

This project will focus on the development of a compact, high power accelerator with high reliability, low maintenance and shielding requirements and low energy usage. In particular, the student will explore the accelerator physics questions underpinning the development of compact strong focusing accelerators (Fixed Field Accelerators or FFAs), which are currently being considered for a number of applications including future neutron sources and radioisotope production. This type of accelerator has never been operated at high power before, making this a very exciting time in the field.
High intensity hadron accelerators are vital for many future scientific facilities and societal applications. They are also a fascinating area of physics research, pushing the limits of theoretical, computational and experimental techniques. While a few design ideas have emerged in the field, a major open research question is: “how can we incorporate strong focusing into a compact cyclotron-like accelerator, and will this allow a significantly increased beam current?” Some further research questions that may be addressed during this DPhil include investigating the fundamental limitations in terms of instabilities in these accelerators, the design of collimation schemes to ensure that beams are accelerated cleanly and with low losses and detailed simulation studies of a proposed prototype accelerator in the UK.
Ultimately, this Fixed Field Accelerator (FFA) may replace the commonly used cyclotrons used for radioisotope production for life-saving medical procedures.
The student will work closely with colleagues in the Intense Beams Group at the STFC ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and a range of opportunities for international travel for experimental collaborations and conferences are available.

Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours, as a minimum, in physics. This would normally be an undergraduate masters' degree, known as an MPhys in the UK and taken over four years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or over five years in Scotland, though international equivalents are also considered.

If you would like to apply for one of these studentships, please visit Graduate Admissions

Deadlines for applications for these projects for admission in October 2018 are: 17th August 2018 for Dr Sheehy's projects, and Friday 24th August for Dr Konoplev's project. Interviews are expected to take place the week after the closing date for applications.

Please note that the University will accept applications and references on deadline days until 12 noon UK time.

Information on our research areas can be found in our list of thesis topics. Please note the only projects open for applications are listed above.

The Graduate Timetable that students will follow during the first year can be seen here Michaelmas Term, Hilary Term and Trinity Term the timetables may change slightly from year to year due to lecturer availability.

Further information:

Contact:
Secretary of Graduate Studies
Sub-department of Particle Physics
Denys Wilkinson Building
Keble Road
Oxford
OX1 3RH
(Tel: +44 (0)1865 273360)