Reflections on my time as a PhD student - Volodymyr Rodin
During my studies I was interested in the realistic simulation and the experimental validation of instruments and sensors used in low energy beam lines and compact storage rings, as well as devices that find application in larger infrastructures such as nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.
Working on the description of beam motion in low-energy storage rings such as the ELENA ring at CERN which can store antiprotons, greatly helped me build up a deep understanding about accelerators. I am still amazed by the complexity of these machines and the diverse use they find in both, fundamental physics and societal applications, as well as by the technology which they entail.
My work within the QUASAR Group demonstrated new ways in which low-energy antiprotons and ions beam can be used efficiently to carry out fundamental scientific research. The numerical tools that I have developed, and the methods that I have studied demonstrated a good agreement with experimental results and were successfully benchmarked against other simulation codes as well.
I had the pleasure of working with enthusiastic colleagues with whom I have created fruitful connections on a range of different topics, including low-energy physics, novel acceleration methods, and state-of-the-art sensors. The experience and skills that I have acquired in accelerator physics complemented my previous knowledge in other fields.
My new project is a giant leap in terms of particle beam energy. From working on the 100 keV low-energy ELENA machine I have switched to working on the 7 TeV High Luminosity (HL) LHC Project. My role in this project is to perform simulations into "beam cleaning", using an enhanced collimation systems and channelling in bent crystals. The latest updates in the optics design of the HL-LHC raised several safety concerns. Its operation at maximum beam energy parameters could potential damage the normal and superconducting magnets in the machine. My work will shed light on these concerns and will contribute to ensuring that the machine can continue to be operated safely after the upgrade.
Despite having now moved to another field, I still enjoy contributing to questions related to next-generation antiproton experiments and help improve the operation of ELENA.