Computer-aided Optimization of Accelerators

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The oPAC network, initiated and coordinated by the QUASAR Group, has organised a three-day long workshop on Computer-Aided optimisation of Accelerators (CAoPAC) at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany from 10 – 13 March 2015.

The workshop was attended by more than 50 delegates from all across Europe. It included sessions about modelling of optics and beam dynamics, control systems and data analysis, generation and propagation of synchrotron light, and particle physics simulations for accelerators.

The workshop was opened by the project coordinator and QUASAR Group leader, Prof. Carsten Welsch, with a talk about the oPAC project and the use of numerical tools for accelerator optimization. Two beam dynamics experts from CERN then covered commonly used accelerator design codes and how frequency maps can help understand and optimize beam dynamics in accelerators. Their talks were followed by several contributions about tracking codes that allow taking more complex effects such as space charge or fringe fields into account to yield a detailed understanding of beam motion. Monday afternoon then focused on beam life time and dynamic aperture studies with emphasis on third generation synchrotron light sources where this problem is of particular concern.

A special highlight was a guided tour of the GSI experimental facilities on Thursday morning. This included the ion trap SHIPTRAP in which many of the world’s heaviest elements were first created and observed, and the facility in which carbon ion radiotherapy techniques for cancer treatment were first developed. Following the tour, QUASAR Dr. Adam Jeff gave a talk about the use of simulation codes for beam diagnostics optimization purposes. Presentations about commonly used Monte Carlo and 3D electromagnetic field simulation codes complemented an exciting overview of state-of-the-art simulation techniques that saw many questions and lively discussions. In the afternoon workshop participants had the opportunity to present and discuss their research in a dedicated poster session.

The last day focused on light generation processes and how this can be adequately modelled with advanced simulation tools, such as the commercial ZEMAX software. The event concluded with a presentation by oPAC Fellow Manuel Cargnelutti from Instrumentation Technologies about the actual organization of this particular event. He highlighted how the idea for this topical workshop was developed by the oPAC Fellows who were in charge of event planning and execution with the support of the group’s EU Project TEAM. He said: “Organizing this workshop provided us with the unique opportunity to be in charge of a whole event from scratch, with a limited time-frame, limited resources, and the challenge of offering an interesting event to attract a good number of participants. We started more than a year ago with our preparations and are delighted that we succeeded in putting together such an excellent workshop, attracting 51 participants from 18 institutions across Europe.”

Further information about the event and all presentations can be found on the workshop indico page. The network is much obliged to GSI for hosting the workshop and to all the Fellows who contributed to the success of the event.