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Development of Electro-Optic Beam Position Monitors for CERN's Large Hadron Collider


   Department of Physics

  Prof Stephen Gibson  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Egham United Kingdom Optical Physics Particle Physics

About the Project

The High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider is a major accelerator upgrade at CERN that will increase the luminosity delivered to the ATLAS and CMS experiments by an order of magnitude. The upgrade will enable the search for new, rare particles and precision measurements of the standard model of particle physics. The HL-LHC will achieve this luminosity increase by a combination of focusing the proton beams more tightly at the interaction points, increasing the beam current and crab-rotating the bunches to maximise the geometric overlap between the colliding beams. Optimising the performance of the crab-cavities at the HL-LHC requires challenging new instrumentation that can measure the transverse shape of a 1ns long proton bunch passing by at nearly the speed of light.

To address this exciting challenge, Prof Stephen Gibson leads the UK collaboration between the CERN Beam Instrumentation group and Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) to develop novel Electro-Optic Beam Position Monitors (EO-BPM). The aim is to use electro-optical crystals that have a time response in the picosecond range to enable an ultra-fast optical response to the passing relativistic bunch. The PhD candidate will join this CERN-RHUL collaborative experimental program to develop electro-optical BPMs for tests at CERN’s flagship accelerator, the LHC.

The PhD position will be based at Royal Holloway, University of London, where the student will be initially trained to perform experimental bench tests in laser rooms and clean rooms at Royal Holloway, and to perform electromagnetic simulations of the relativistic bunch, the electro-optic response and develop ultrafast optical detection techniques. The student will also attend lectures in accelerator physics at the University of Oxford during the first year, as part of the training provided by the John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science.

After the initial training in the UK, the student will move to CERN for upto 18 months to participate in operational beam tests of the prototype at the LHC. The student have the opportunity to acquire and analyse data from the EO-BPM device during Run-III of the LHC, with the aim of validating this new method for deployment of these new devices at the HL-LHC. Following successful demonstration, publications of the results and participation in international conferences is expected.

The student would join a friendly team at RHUL and benefit from the direct supervision of Prof. Stephen Gibson, and collaborate with the team at CERN. The PhD candidate would also benefit from the wider support and training network of the John Adams Institute for accelerator science, a centre of excellence in the UK for advanced and novel accelerator technology, providing expertise, research, development and training in accelerator techniques, and promoting advanced accelerator applications in science and society.

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Funding Notes

The applicant will be expected to have a first or upper second-class degree in physics, or other appropriate qualification. We offer a fully funded studentship from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, as part of the £26M UK project on the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider at CERN. UK and EU citizens are eligible to apply. A full package of training and support will be provided by the John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, and the candidate will join a vibrant and supportive accelerator research group.

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