Accelerator Physics

By Prof. Amalendu Sharma, Prof. Rajni Pande, Prof. Pitamber Singh   |   IIT Bombay
Learners enrolled: 1996
ABOUT THE COURSE: Accelerators have an important role both in basic and applied research, eg., medical science, industry, national security, environmental science etc Electron accelerators are built for food irradiation etc and as Synchrotron Radiation Source for material science research.
Depending on how particles are accelerated, accelerators are categorized as DC accelerators, Linear and Cyclic accelerators and Laser-Plasma Accelerators. Today, accelerators in the energy range of keV to TeV have been designed, built and used. In order to design, operate and utilise them efficiently, the physics of the accelerators should be well understood. In this course, physics of DC, Linear and Cyclic accelerators will be discussed and high energy accelerators will be briefly reviewed.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Ph. D. Students and researchers, Hospital Doctors and Staff and Industry people and Defence personnel.

PREREQUISITES: B.Sc in Physics or B.E, The course is a stand-alone course for application of accelerators in research in Physics, medical sciences, industrial applications and national security.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Several academic institutions, industries and defence departments will be interested. Many accelerators are in operation in industry for food irradiation and for medical treatment in hospitals.
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Category :
  • Physics
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to DC accelerators, Cockcroft-Walton, Van de Graaff, Tandem, Pelletron accelerators.
Week 2: Ion sources, high voltage generation, voltage stabilization, Charging systems (capacitive and inductive), Magnets, insulating gases and their characteristics.
Week 3: Control systems, beam handling components, Focussing systems, interlocks, Voltage / Energy calibration, beam optics
Week 4: Introduction and basic principles of LINACs. Relativistic expressions. Propagation of electromagnetic waves through matter (relevant to LINACs only), boundary conditions, phase velocity, group velocity, wave equation. Generation of modes in a cavity/waveguide
Week 5: Application to the different types of LINACs including traveling and standing wave types. Transit time factor and the energy gained in a LINAC. General ideas of surface resistance, power loss, Quality factor, shunt impedance in cavities; Normal conducting LINAC structures
Week 6: Superconductivity in accelerators, advantages of Superconducting cavities, breakdown mechanisms in Superconducting cavities, Superconducting accelerating cavities
Week 7: Longitudinal dynamics in LINACs: Longitudinal stability, stability criteria, separatrix, synchronous oscillation with small and large amplitudes.
Week 8: FD, FFDD focusing, Stability criteria, phase advance and stability in LINACs; Space charge effects in high intensity beams.
Week 9: Cyclotrons. Synchrocyclotron. AVF principle and concept of hills and valleys in magnetic field. Different applications of cyclotrons.
Week 10: Equation of motion in magnetic field and concept of focusing, Weak and strong focusing, Quadrupole magnets, Principle of AG focusing, Edge focusing.
Week 11: Radio Frequency (RF) field and particle acceleration. Longitudinal focusing and phase stability. RF bucket and longitudinal emittance.
Week 12: Proton storage ring. Basic concept of space charge and tune shift. Fixed target collision and colliding beams. Luminosity and circular colliders

Books and references

1.Particle Accelerators, M.S. Livingston and J.B. Blewett, McGraw-Hill Inc, US (1962)
2.Particle Accelerator Physics, Helmut Wiedemann, Fourth Edition, Springer (2015).
3.Introduction to Accelerator Physics, Arvind Jain, MacMillan India Ltd, (2007). 
4.RF Linear Accelerators-second, completely revised and enlarged edition (Wiley 2008) Thomas P. Wangler
5.An Introduction to the Physics of Particle Accelerators - second edition (World Scientific 2008), Mario Conte and William M. MacKay
6.Particle Accelerator Physics - fourth edition (Springer 2015). -Helmut Wiedemann
7.Accelerator Physics - fourth edition (World Scientific 2019) -S. Y. Lee.
8.Principles of Charged Particle Acceleration – Stanley Humphries
9.Helmut Wiedemann, “Particle Accelerator Physics”, Springer
10.D. A. Edwards and M. J. Syphers, “Physics of High Energy Accelerators”, WILEY-VCH
11.Phillip J. Bryant and Kjell Johnson, “The Principles of Circular Accelerators and Storage Rings”, Cambridge University press
12.S. Y. Lee, “Accelerator Physics”, World Scientific
13.Andrzej Wolski, “Beam Dynamics in High Energy Particle Accelerators”, World Scientific
14.Proceedings of 5th General Accelerator Physics Course, Vol-1 and 2, CERN Accelerator School, Ed. S. Turner
(Available at http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/235242/files/full_document_V1.pdf)

Instructor bio

Prof. Amalendu Sharma

IIT Bombay
Prof. Amalendu Sharma graduated from the BARC Training School, RRCAT, Indore in 2001. He has worked on the relaxed optics for ease commissioning of 2.5 GeV Indus-2 synchrotron radiation source at RRCAT and participated in commissioning exercises of Indus-2. Dr Sharma also carried out studies on the inclusion of harmonic sextupole magnets in Indus-2 to improve the beam lifetime for low emittance, high brightness optics. He was the convenor of the team responsible to increase the beam current at in Indus-2 and shaping it in the routine stable operation mode. He also participated in the optics design of an electron beam transport line to compress the bunch length for CTF3 project at CERN under the DAE-CERN collaboration and on this work, he obtained his PhD, in 2014 by HBNI. Presently, Dr Amalendu Sharma is leading the beam dynamics activities for designing the 1 GeV Proton Accumulator Ring of Indian Facility for Spallation Research. He is also contributing to the optics design of energy filtering and beam delivery system of radiation processing facility development at RRCAT, Indore. Dr Amalendu Sharma has been teaching Accelerator Physics in BARC Training School at RRCAT, Indore for the last 14 years. He also took classes in the Orientation Course on Accelerator and Laser (OCAL) in RRCAT, in which M.Sc and B.Tech students participated. Dr Sharma also delivered lectures in the course on Accelerator Science and Technology, conducted by IUAC. New Delhi.

Prof. Rajni Pande

Prof. Rajni Pande graduated from the 45th batch of BARC Training School at RRCAT, Indore in 2002. She obtained her PhD from Homi Bhabha National Institute in 2014 in accelerator physics. She has been teaching Accelerator Physics at BARC Training School for the past 12 years. She has also taught accelerator physics at DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, University of Mumbai. She has been working on the design and development of high intensity proton accelerators at BARC. Her current research interests are design of accelerating structures and beam dynamics in high intensity LINACS & study of non-linear effects in high intensity particle accelerators. She co-authored several papers in refereed journals.

Prof. Pitamber Singh

Prof. Pitamber Singh graduated from 19th batch of BARC Training School in 1976. He was formerly the Head, Ion Accelerator Development Division, BARC. He is a nuclear physicist and made pioneering contributions in design and development of accelerators. He worked at Max Planck Institute fur Kernphysik (MPI), Heidelberg as a post-doctoral fellow during 1985-86. He has more than 400 publications including 85 papers in reputed international journals. Some of his noteworthy contributions are as follows : Dr. Singh made very important contributions to the design and development of a 2 Million Volt Tandem Accelerator and a 6 Million Volt Folded Tandem Ion Accelerator (FOTIA) at BARC For outstanding contributions to the indigenous development of accelerators, Dr Singh was conferred the DAE’s Technical Excellence Award in the year 2000. Dr Singh steered a project to develop a 1 GeV, 30 mA proton accelerator for the Indian ADS program to use Thorium in the nuclear fuel cycle. He has also contributed to the India-Fermilab (USA) collaboration for development of high intensity accelerators and was a key member of the Technical Board at the Fermilab for Project-X/PIP-II and Indian Technical Coordinator for the Indian Institutes Fermilab Collaboration (IIFC). In recognition of his excellent contributions to the development of accelerators and nuclear reaction studies, Dr. Singh was awarded INS High Technology Award in 2013. He has also received several Group Achievement Awards in DAE. Dr. Singh has also made very important contribution in the field of nuclear physics. As a Senior Professor at Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Dr Singh had been actively involved in teaching and guiding PhD students.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Bombay .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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