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Timing stabilised links for AWAKE Run 2.


   Cockcroft Institute

  , Dr James Henderson  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

AWAKE is the world first and only proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment and it has successfully demonstrated the electron acceleration up to 2 GeV in a 10 m long plasma. AWAKE Run 2 looks to demonstrate the high-quality beam acceleration in a proton-driven plasma wakefield. AWAKE uses the 400 GeV SPS proton beam to drive intense wakefields in a plasma channel, a witness electron beam is then injected into the plasma, and experiences an average accelerating gradient of 200 MV/m.

AWAKE Run 2 is a significant upgrade to the first experiment which includes; installation of second electron beam injector and commissioning a second Rubidium plasma vapour cell. AWAKE Run 2 will provide more precise control of the proton beam Self-Modulation process and the witness electron beam acceleration in the first and second plasma channels respectively.  To preserve good electron beam properties, precise femtosecond level control of electron beam arrival time at the second AWAKE plasma channel is required. 

The student will initially be based at the Cockcroft Institute (Daresbury Laboratory, UK), for 12-18 months, before moving to CERN for most of the remainder of the project, working closely with the AWAKE team and CERN LLRF group. They will commission a timing stabilised link for the AWAKE injector RF system. Fibre timing stabilised links combines several different optical, electronics and digital technologies to achieve low noise performance. The timing stabilised link will enable precise control of the witness electron beam arrival time with respect to the AWAKE accelerating plasma wakefields.

The top-level aims of the PhD project are

1.      Demonstration of a sub-10 fs rms stabilised timing link on the AWAKE accelerator.

2.      Development of RF phase/arrival time monitor of AWAKE high power RF systems

3.      Contribute to AWAKE experimental programme

Potential candidates with a broad range of skills are encouraged to apply. A first degree in physics, engineering or a related subject is essential and the successful candidate should have a good grasp of at least one of the following: electromagnetism, optics, data acquisition and analysis. Interested candidates should contact Dr Rob Apsimon () and Dr James Henderson () in the first instance. This post will remain open until filled. The studentship would be funded for 3.5 years subject to approval of funding. Please note, only UK students are eligible to apply for this position. 

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