PhD Program in Accelerator Physics
At Cornell University
, PhD students can do research at the
Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education
(CLASSE), which encompasses the Laboratory for Elementary-Particle
Physics (LEPP), the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS),
the Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) project, and the Superconducting
Radio Frequency (SRF) Group.
A PhD program in accelerator physics has been operating for many
decades, and alumni of this program are employed at many of the
world's accelerator centers. Under this program, students from
around the world participate in research at the Laboratory, while
receiving class instruction and a degree from Cornell University.
Each student will work in a research group which typically involves
a professor, postdoctoral research associates, and other graduate
students. These mentors will work with the students to define the
nature of the research project, organize access to the resources
necessary to carry out the research, and guide the participant through
The student projects are always important elements of the overall
research program of CLASSE. Areas of research include general
Accelerator Physics, Microwave Superconductivity, Advanced
Instrumentation (electronics, lasers, cryogenics, etc), and
Synchrotron Radiation in Scientific Research.
Front Line Research at World-Class Facilities
The cryostat with RF waveguides of Cornell ERL prototype injector.
Simulated diffraction amplitudes of an object.
operates the Cornell Electron-positron Storage Ring (CESR).
An active program in accelerator physics research, called CESR-TA,
is aimed at developing and testing ideas for future higher luminosity
electron-positron colliders, especially the International Linear Collider
(ILC), for which CESR serves as a prototype in key areas.
, the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source provides facilities
to utilize the high energy x-rays (synchrotron radiation) produced by
CESR for a wide variety of research projects in the energy sciences;
biology, chemistry, engineering, materials science, and physics. Members
of the CHESS staff develop state of the art instrumentation to support
users of the facility and utilize the x-ray beams for their own scientific
Proposed layout of the Cornell ERL accelerator on the southeast Cornell campus.
The Energy Recovery Linac (ERL)
Undergraduate and graduate students working on Cornell's ERL injector with physics faculty.
, is currently a budding prototype
linear accelerator, funded by the National Science Foundation and New
York State. Within the next several years, the ERL will be developed into
a powerhouse of accelerator physics and technology. When complete,
this superconducting x-ray source will be one of the most advanced
on the planet, and will transform the ways in which x-ray science is
conducted. The ERL will be a crucial resource to New York State, the
nation, and the world, propelling scientific and biomedical advancement
and economic development. PhD students and their professors will
be central to the development of this forefront facility. Recent years'
graduate students have had projects on aspects of the ERL as varied as
ultra-high vacuum technology, electron gun design, superconducting RF
cavity performance, and beam dynamics simulation.
A student works with an SRF cavity.
is a technology in which microwave superconducting cavities are
used to efficiently deliver energy to particles in accelerators. Research
opportunities in developing instrumentation are also available. These
forefront accelerator devices are used in future colliders, advanced
light sources, the LHC and the ILC, the world's largest particle
physics experiments. Recent research involves the basic science of RF
superconductivity, as well as device development.
Unique Research Environment
Beam dynamics modeling using Feynman computer.
Instruction in accelerator theory.
SRF research on single-cell cavities.
Cornell, New York's land-grant university, has
one of the largest accelerator physics education
programs in the world. The accelerator facilities
attract and facilitate training of the talent needed
to sustain a high-tech economy into the future.
Few institutions are equipped for the collaborative, multidisciplinary
technology required for accelerator development, and even fewer
have experience operating large multidisciplinary user facilities.
Cornell has a unique collaborative culture honed by decades of
experience operating large-scale national facilities that serve
nanotechnology, high-energy physics, accelerator physics, and
synchrotron x-ray science.
Professors in the Physics department whose research focuses
on accelerator physics are: Ivan Bazarov
, Gerry Dugan, Don
Hartill, Georg Hoffstaetter
, Matthias Liepe
, Dave Rubin, Dick
Talman and Maury Tigner. Details of their research can be found at:
Become a part of this culture and contribute to accelerator research!
Interested graduate students should apply to Cornell's Graduate
School in the field of Physics or Applied and Engineering Physics
and mention in their application Accelerator Physics as the main
area of interest.
Undergraduate students who would like to learn more about
accelerator physics before applying to Graduate School are
encouraged to apply to our REU (Research for Undergraduates)
program at www.lepp.cornell.edu/Education/REUatCLASSE
For additional information, please contact:
Ms. Monica Wesley
(607) 255-4952 or