Unlocking precision experiments: Optimizing beam transport and instrumentation at the antimatter experiment AEgIS at CERN

Reference number: PPPR047


In 2018, the AEgIS experiment at CREN demonstrated the first pulsed production of antihydrogen atoms, by interacting pulse-produced positronium (an atom consisting of only an electron and a positron) with cold, trapped antiprotons. This breakthrough has opened the door to a rich physics program using beams of pulse-produced positronium, antihydrogen and antiprotonic atoms.

The scientific program of AEgIS relies on the availability of a high quality cold positronium source that offers excellent control over its physical properties such as velocity, excited state and trajectory. In addition, the beam transport from the low energy ELENA storage ring to and into the experiment needs to be understood in great detail for maximum experimental output.

The QUASAR Group at the University of Liverpool/Cockcroft Institute has made decisive contributions in these areas, designing a flexible low energy beam selection/merging section, carrying out studies into beam transport under consideration of realistic fringe and stray fields, and developing novel sensors for electrostatic field measurements, low intensity beam profile, intensity and position measurements. The simulation tools, monitors and sensors that are available in the Group will form the basis for this PhD project.

In your project, you will investigate: gas jet targets for studies into eV beam interactions; quantum sensors as single particle detectors; beam quality optimization through realistic 3D start-to-end and trapping simulations; efficient integration of beam and particle diagnostics through simulation and experiment.

Working with other members of the QUASAR Group and the wider AEgIS collaboration, you will get the exciting opportunity to contribute to the planning and running of experimental campaigns. Throughout the project you will have access to the Cockcroft Institute’s comprehensive postgraduate training in accelerator science. Opportunities for spending significant time at CERN will be given.

The studentship will be paid for up to 42 months at the standard UKRI level; tuition fees will be covered at the UK home student level.

Application instructions


Please ensure you mention Prof Carsten Welsch as the proposed supervisor on your application form and quote studentship reference: PPPR047