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Superconducting RF Crab cavities for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) upgrade (@CERN)


Cockcroft Institute

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Dr G Burt Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

The University of Lancaster, Cockcroft Institute, United Kingdom and CERN

Superconducting RF Crab cavities for Large hadron collider (LHC) upgrade (based at CERN)

Supervisory team: G Burt, Lancaster University & R Calaga, CERN

Want to develop the key component for the upgrade of the worlds largest scientific project?

The High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) project aims to crank up the performance of the LHC in order to increase the potential for discoveries after 2025. The objective is to increase luminosity by a factor of 10 beyond the LHC’s design value. The LHC will be the first proton collider to utilise radio frequency (RF) “crab” cavities which use strong electromagnetic fields to rotate the bunch into alignment to increase the number of proton-proton collisions.

As this will be the first use of crab cavities on a proton beam a dedicated experiment on the super proton synchrotron (SPS) at CERN is ongoing to understand the dynamics and performance of these systems. Crab cavities have a fundamental issue in that the beam highly sensitive to their impedance. LHC has 16 crab cavities and takes up a very large fraction of the LHC impedance budget and hence it must be accurately measured. The effect of RF noise on the system performance and any beam instabilities must be understood, as well as the high gradient performance of the cavities and Rf systems tested.

A PhD student is sought, to help CERN plan, test and analyse the crab cavities in the SPS to prepare for the LHC upgrade. The student will also be involved in high power RF testing of the cavities separately from the beam. The student will be based at CERN for at least 3 years and there will be a stipend top-up to compensate for the increased cost of living when at CERN.


Applicants should be highly motivated and have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in physics, or electronic engineering. Informal enquires should be directed to Prof Graeme Burt ([Email Address Removed])

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 over 150 people.

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.
The studentship provides a stipend for the duration of the award plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate as well as the stipend top-up while at CERN.
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