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Laser Driven Relativistic Particle Acceleration

Cockcroft Institute

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Prof S Jamison Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

We seek a PhD candidate to undertake computational and theoretical research on laser driven relativistic particle beam acceleration. The research will be carried out at STFC Daresbury National Laboratory, in an exciting and collaborative project involving students and staff from Lancaster University, University of Manchester and STFC Daresbury National Laboratory.

Relativistic particle acceleration driven by ultrafast optical lasers holds potential to revolutionise high energy particle accelerators. In the application of ultrafast electron diffraction, laser driven acceleration offers control of particle beams on the femtosecond (10-15s) time scale. In addition, the high-field strengths available in ultrafast lasers may enable orders of magnitude reduction in size and cost of kilometre-scale accelerators of x-ray-free-electron lasers and high-energy particle physics.

The successful candidate will join a research team developing novel acceleration concepts using ultrafast lasers, and undertaking a number of proof-of-concept demonstrations of laser acceleration of relativistic beams in dielectric and metallic structures. They will carry out numerical and theoretical modelling directed to understanding the dynamics and ultimate limits extremely high gradient electron acceleration driven by optical and terahertz pulses. As well as fundamental physics investigations, the student will contribute to the modelling and design of proof of principal experiments being undertaken on the CLARA 50MeV accelerator, and on our 100keV THz driven electron injector.

The applicant will be expected to have a first or upper second class degree in physics, or other appropriate qualification. A full graduate programme of training and development is provided by the Cockcroft Institute. The student will register at the Lancaster University, supervised by the THz acceleration project lead, Professor Steven Jamison.

The student will join a vibrant group of students and post-doctoral researchers already making significant progress in this area. The studentship will also work closely with scientists and Engineers at STFC Daresbury Laboratory National Laboratory. There will also be opportunities for travel and collaboration with scientific institutes and universities outside the U.K.

For further information, please contact Steve Jamison: [Email Address Removed]

How to apply:

Anticipated Start Date: October 2020 for 3.5 Years

Funding Notes

Upon acceptance of a student, this project will be funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council for 3.5 years; UK and other EU citizens are eligible to apply. A full package of training and support will be provided by the Cockcroft Institute, and the student will take part in a vibrant accelerator research and education community of around 200 people that includes around 70 postgraduates.
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