Beam gas curtain monitor for the High Luminosity LHC

Reference number: PPPR049


The QUASAR Group, based at the Cockcroft Institute, has pioneered the development of a supersonic gas jet as a non-invasive beam profile monitor. By varying the gas species, density and thermodynamic parameters, the resulting event/detection rate can be varied over a very wide range, thus making the monitor a versatile device for various particle beams. It was developed specifically to monitor the profile of the primary proton beam in the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider, in parallel to the profile of the electron beam in the so-called Hollow Electron Lens. The monitor has already demonstrated to work exceptionally well for both, protons and heavy ions, at LHC top energies.

To fully exploit the potential of this novel beam monitor, in particular for high beam current applications and overlapping beams, detailed simulation studies are required that further the understanding of the jet generation and formation process, jet-beam interaction, as well as image acquisition and analysis.

This PhD project will combine numerical studies using available commercial tools, as well as purpose-developed fluid dynamics and Monte Carlo tools to study the gas jet dynamics in various configurations. In addition, machine learning will be applied to optimize data analysis. All results will be benchmarked against data which the student will obtain from measurements using the existing setup at CERN’s Electron Beam Test Stand (EBTS). Furthermore, the integration of the beam monitor into the wider accelerator control system offers exciting prospects for the development of virtual diagnostics that help optimize experimental output.

Throughout the project you will have access to the Cockcroft Institute’s comprehensive postgraduate training in accelerator science, as well as to targeted training in data science provided by the University of Liverpool with the Centre for Doctoral Training LIV.INNO. A 6-months industry placement will be part of your project and help broaden your research and career skills.

Please ensure you mention Prof Carsten Welsch as the proposed supervisor on your application form and quote studentship reference: PPPR049.