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Ultrafast laser driven acceleration of relativistic electron beams

Physics Department

Lancaster United Kingdom Electromagnetism Experimental Physics Optical Physics Particle Physics Solid State Physics Theoretical Physics

About the Project

Lancaster University, together with collaborators at University of Manchester and the Cockcroft Institute for particle accelerator science, have developed internationally leading approaches to laser-driven particle accelerators. Our research, which involves a combination of femtosecond laser non-linear optics and sub-mm structures for electromagnetic-electron beam interactions, featured as the cover article in Nature Photonics in December 2020†.

Opportunities are now available for talented physicists to join our research programme as a PhD student, in either experimentally focused or theory/simulation focused projects.

·      The experimentally-focused studentship will investigate the interaction of intense THz electromagnetic pulses (generated by non-linear optics and ultrafast lasers) with 100keV and >50 MeV electron beams.

·      The theory/simulation-focussed studentship will investigate the mechanisms of energy depletion and back reaction on the electromagnetic field during extremely high gradient (GV/m) and ultrafast (few femtosecond) conditions.

The students will join a vibrant team of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from Lancaster University and University of Manchester. The research team have extensive laser and electron beam experimental facilities at STFC Daresbury National Laboratory, Lancaster and Manchester universities, and access to relativistic beam test accelerators at the National Laboratory.

The Lancaster Physics Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award and JUNO Champion status, and is strongly committed to fostering inclusion and diversity within its community.

Associated project supervisors: Dr D Graham / Prof R Appleby,  University of Manchester, Department of Physics

For further information contact Prof Steven Jamison at

Funding Notes

This project is expected to commence on 1 October 2021 and will be funded for 3.5 years.


† Nat. Photonics 14, 755–759 (2020).

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