Director’s Corner

At the dawn of a new decade, ATAP and Berkeley Lab look forward to many exciting opportunities. A recent Nature paper by a UK-based international collaboration describes the first-ever demonstration of ionization cooling of muons. The demonstration was made possible by a pair of superconducting spectrometer solenoids designed, built, and delivered by ATAP, the Engineering Division, and an industrial partner.

ATAP researchers (with the Berkeley Accelerator Controls and Instrumentation Program particularly well represented) taught four courses at the Winter 2020 session of US Particle Accelerator School. We have been deeply involved in USPAS since its early days, a key aspect of our investment in the future workforce of the accelerator community. More than 80 people who were, had been, or would become employees of ATAP and its predecessor organizations have taught a total of more than 100 courses and lectures. Many of these courses are team-taught with colleagues from other institutions, forging lasting connections throughout the accelerator community.

More …

Quantum information science, which holds profoundly transformational potential, is another area where ATAP could make contributions and reap benefits. Quantum innovations have potential to revolutionize networking as well as processing, and Berkeley Lab (headquarters of the Energy Sciences Network) is a stakeholder and innovator in both areas. We recently helped organize DOE’s first Quantum Networking Blueprint Workshop, which drew some 70 participants from national laboratories and universities.

As we write this, back-to-back scientific-community events hosted by LBNL are helping guide the future in two other areas: the Berkeley Lab-headquartered US Magnet Development Program is holding its annual meeting, and many USMDP researchers will stay to participate in the IEEE Low Temperature Superconductor Workshop.

The Advanced Light Source Upgrade Project recently received Critical Decision 3a. This step in the Department of Energy’s project-management process allows Berkeley Lab to get a head start on ALS-U by building a crucial part called the accumulator ring. The ultimate result will be a complete re-envisioning of this high-profile user facility, putting it at the forefront of synchrotron light source performance for another 20 years. The combined expertise of ATAP and the Engineering and ALS Divisions will make this dream a reality, enabling a new generation of discovery science throughout the broad research portfolio of ALS users.

Watch this space in the coming months for more news about these and many more of our efforts, including state-of-the-art accelerator modeling; machine learning and artificial intelligence; laser-plasma acceleration and development of innovative lasers to power it; stronger and better superconducting magnets; and accelerator controls and instrumentation.

All these seemingly disparate elements are actually interrelated, as designing and building state-of-the-art particle accelerators calls for integrating expertise in a wide variety of disciplines. ATAP and our partners throughout the Laboratory (notably the Engineering Division), other institutions, and the private sector can do amazing things together, developing accelerators and putting beams on target for the benefit of the DOE Office of Science portfolio and beyond. With a team poised to build on the past and move into the future, we can make this a decade of marvels throughout the application spaces of particle accelerators.


Demonstration of Ionization Cooling is Breakthrough En Route to Future Muon Collider

—Berkeley Lab researchers contributed major components, analyses to international experiment
Adapted by Glenn Roberts, Jr., of Berkeley Lab Strategic Communications from an original MICE collaboration press release

Click for larger view. (Credit: MICE collaboration)

The international Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) collaboration, a U.K.-based effort that includes researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has made the first-ever demonstration of ionization cooling of muons. This represents a necessary step toward someday being able to build a muon collider, a next-generation facility that could give us a better understanding of the fundamental constituents of matter. Such a future collider would provide at least a 10-fold increase in energy for the creation of new particles compared to the current world leader: the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Europe.

This new research was published in Nature on February 5, 2020.

Until now, the question has been whether you can channel enough muons into a small enough volume to be able to study physics in new, unexplored systems. Muons are in the same class as electrons, but with a mass that is about 200 times larger.

More …

The results of the experiment, carried out using the MICE muon beamline at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) ISIS Neutron and Muon Beam facility in the U.K., clearly show that ionization cooling works and can be used to channel muons into a tiny volume.

Muons can also be used as a catalyst for nuclear fusion, and to see through really dense materials that stop X-rays. Researchers hope that the new technique can help produce high-quality muon beams for these applications, too.

“This was an extremely difficult achievement, and crucial to the dream of a muon collider,” said Derun Li, head of the Berkeley Accelerator Controls and Instrumentation Center in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.

As manager of Berkeley Lab’s role in the overall Muon Accelerator Program, Li was responsible for delivery of the Lab’s main contribution: two superconducting spectrometer solenoids. These components, which Berkeley Lab researchers designed, built, and delivered, are magnetic coils that measure a property of the muon beam known as emittance (a measure of the orderliness or “coolness”) before and after the cooling channel.

Berkeley Lab researchers also contributed accelerating structures and thermal and mechanical design and analyses.

“Muons combine many of the best advantages of electrons and protons for collider-based particle physics, but also introduce technical challenges,” Li added. Organizing particle beams into bunches that are both tightly packed and orderly, or “cool,” is key to getting the most particle interactions, and therefore the most data, in modern colliders.

Rapid cooling is essential because, unlike the long-lived particles such as electrons or protons that are commonly used in colliders, muons last only a few microseconds.

Li noted that ionization cooling emerged as the only viable technique for muons. “It took a worldwide effort to demonstrate that ionization cooling was possible,” he said, “and it was immensely rewarding to be part of Berkeley Lab’s contributions.”

Since the start of this effort in the early 2000s, Berkeley Lab has been instrumental. The late Berkeley Lab accelerator physicist Michael S. Zisman had championed the push toward future muon colliders, leading the Neutrino Factory and Muon Collider Collaboration and serving as a deputy spokesperson for MICE.

Li noted many important contributions from Berkeley Lab researchers during its 15 years of involvement in the MICE project, including key roles in engineering, magnetics, and cryogenics.

“The enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work of the international collaboration and the outstanding support of laboratory personnel at STFC and from institutes across the world have made this game-changing breakthrough possible,” said MICE spokesperson Ken Long, a professor at Imperial College London.

Photo - Members of the MICE facility team during construction of the experiment at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in 2015. (Credit: MICE collaboration)

Members of the MICE facility team during construction of the experiment at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in 2015. (Credit: MICE collaboration)

Chris Rogers, physics coordinator for the collaboration who is based at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Beam facility, explained, “MICE has demonstrated a completely new way of squeezing a particle beam into a smaller volume. This technique is necessary for making a successful muon collider, which could outperform even the LHC.”

Muons are produced by smashing a beam of protons into a target. The muons can then be separated off from the debris created at the target and directed through a series of magnetic lenses. Because of this rough-and-ready production mechanism, these muons form a diffuse cloud, so when it comes to colliding the muons, the chances of them hitting each other and producing interesting physical phenomena is really low.

To make the cloud less diffuse, researchers use a process called beam cooling. This involves getting the muons closer together (even though, having the same electric charge, they repel each other) and moving in the same direction. Magnetic lenses can do either of these things, but not both at the same time.

A major obstacle to cooling a muon beam is that muons only live for 2 millionths of a second, but previous methods developed to cool beams take hours to achieve an effect. In the 1970s a new method, called ionization cooling, had been suggested. The concept was further developed in the 1990s, but testing this idea in practice remained formidable.

MICE experiment, with spectrometers labeled

In this photo of the MICE experiment, superconducting spectrometer solenoids (horizontal cylinders with yellow and black tape) flank the muon ionization cooling channel. A Berkeley Lab team designed, built, and delivered the spectrometer solenoids. (Credit: Steve Virostek/Berkeley Lab)

The MICE Collaboration developed a completely new method to tackle this unique challenge: cooling the muons by putting them through specially designed energy-absorbing materials – such as lithium hydride, a compound of lithium metal and hydrogen, or liquid hydrogen cooled to around minus 418 degrees Fahrenheit – and encased by incredibly thin aluminum windows.

This was done while the beam was very tightly focused by powerful superconducting magnetic lenses. The measurement is so delicate that it requires measuring the beam particle by particle, using particle physics techniques rather than the usual accelerator diagnostics.

After cooling, the muons can be accelerated by a normal particle accelerator in a precise direction. This makes it much more likely the muons will collide. Alternatively, the cold muons can be slowed down so their decay products can be studied.

Professor Alain Blondel, spokesperson of MICE from 2001 to 2013 and emeritus professor at the University of Geneva, said, “We started MICE studies in 2000 with great enthusiasm and a strong team from all continents. It is a great pride to see the demonstration achieved, just at a time when it becomes evident to many new people that we must include muon machines in the future of particle physics.”

“In this era of ever-more-expensive particle accelerators, MICE points the way to a new generation of cost-effective muon colliders,” said Professor Dan Kaplan, Director of the Illinois Institute of Technology Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics in Chicago.

Paul Soler, U.K. principal investigator for MICE and a University of Glasgow professor, said, “Ionization cooling is a game-changer for the future of high-energy muon accelerators such as a muon collider, and we are extremely grateful to all the international funding agencies … and to the staff at the ISIS neutron and muon source for hosting the facility that made this result possible.”

To explore further…


CD-3a Approval Is Major Step Toward ALS Upgrade

—Construction of innovative accumulator ring as part of ALS-U project will keep Berkeley Lab at the forefront of synchrotron light source science
From a January 8, 2020 story by Glenn Roberts, Jr., of Berkeley Lab Strategic Communications

Cutaway View of the ALS Showing a Rendering of the ALS Upgrade Project Components

This cutaway rendering of the Advanced Light Source dome shows the layout of three electron-accelerating rings. A new approval step in the ALS Upgrade project will allow the installation of the middle ring, known as the accumulator ring. (Credit: Matthaeus Leitner/Berkeley Lab)

An upgrade of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has passed an important milestone that will help to maintain the ALS’ world-leading capabilities.

More …

On December 23 the DOE granted approval for a key funding step that will allow the project to start construction on a new inner electron storage ring. Known as an accumulator ring, this inner ring will feed the upgraded facility’s main light-producing storage ring, and is a part of the upgrade project (ALS-U).

This latest approval, known as CD-3a, authorizes an important release of funds that will be used to purchase equipment and formally approves the start of construction on the accumulator ring. This approval is an essential step in a DOE “critical decision” process that involves in-depth reviews at several key project stages.

“It’s exciting to finally be able to start construction and see all our hard work come to fruition and to get one step closer to having a next-generation light source,” said David Robin, director of the ALS-U project.

The ALS produces ultrabright light over a range of wavelengths, from infrared to high-energy X-rays, by accelerating electrons to nearly the speed of light and guiding them along a circular path.

Powerful arrays of magnets bend the beam of electrons, causing it to emit light that is channeled down dozens of beamlines for experiments in a wide range of scientific areas – from physics, medicine, and chemistry to biology and geology. More than 2,000 scientists from around the world conduct experiments at the facility each year.

Brighter, more laser-like beams, and ‘recycled’ electrons

In addition to installing the accumulator ring, the upgrade project will replace the existing main storage ring with a next-generation storage ring that will reduce the size of the light beams at their source from around 100 microns (millionths of a meter) to below 10 microns.

Rendering - This illustration shows components of the accumulator ring (top) and new storage ring (bottom) that will be installed as a part of the ALS-U project. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

This illustration shows components of the accumulator ring (top) and new storage ring (bottom) that will be installed as a part of the ALS-U project. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

The combination of the accumulator ring and upgraded main storage ring will enable at least 100 times brighter beams at key energies, and will make the beams more laser-like by enhancing a property known as coherence. This will make it possible to reveal nanometer-scale features of samples, and to observe chemical processes and the function of materials in real time.

Today, electrons at the ALS are first accelerated by a linear (straight) accelerator and a booster ring before they are transferred to the storage ring that feeds light to the beamlines. After the upgrade, electrons from the booster ring will instead go to the accumulator ring, which will reduce the size and spread of the electron beam and accumulate multiple batches or “injections” of electron bunches from the booster ring before transferring bunches to the storage ring.

Shrinking the beam profile in the accumulator ring, together with an innovative technique for swapping electron bunches between ALS rings – and the use of improved magnetic devices called undulators that wiggle the electrons and help to narrow the path of the light they emit – will enable the higher brightness of the upgraded ALS.

Rendering - This rendering shows a sector of accumulator ring equipment along an inner wall at the Advanced Light Source. (Credit: Scott Burns/Berkeley Lab)

This rendering shows a sector of accumulator ring equipment along an inner wall at the Advanced Light Source. (Credit: Scott Burns/Berkeley Lab)

The accumulator ring will also “recycle” incoming electron bunches — via a transfer line from the main storage ring — that have a depleted charge. It will restore them to a higher charge and feed them back into the storage ring.

This electron-bunch recycling, known as “bunch train swap-out,” is a unique design feature of the upgraded ALS that could also prove useful if adopted at other accelerator facilities around the globe. It will reduce the number of lost electrons, in turn reducing the workload for the facility’s production of electrons.

To allow precisely timed electron bunch-train exchanges between the accumulator ring and the booster and storage rings, three transfer lines are needed.

One of these transfer lines will deliver bunches of electrons from the booster ring to the accumulator ring, where the size of the bunches will be reduced and the charge progressively increased, before delivering them via another transfer line to the main storage ring. A third transfer line will allow excess electrons that would otherwise be discarded to reenter the accumulator ring for reuse.

Photo - This silicon-based device is one of eight stages of an inductive voltage adder, which is used to drive a "kicker" that kicks electrons from one path to another. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

This silicon-based device is one of eight stages of an inductive voltage adder, which is used to drive a “kicker” that kicks electrons from one path to another. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

“Every upgrade project should contribute to accelerator technology and push the field forward in some way,” Robin said. “Recent state-of-the art facilities and upgrades in Europe and the U.S. have implemented technology that we are making use of. Using an accumulator with bunch train swap-out injection is one of our main contributions.”

At the leading edge of ‘soft’ and ‘tender’ X-ray science

Robin credited Christoph Steier, who is the Accelerator Systems Lead for the ALS-U project, and his team for developing the bunch train swap-out technique and related technologies that are critical for the facility’s enhanced performance.

The ALS-U project will keep the facility at the forefront of research using “soft” X-rays, which are well-suited to studies of the chemical, electronic, and magnetic properties of materials. Soft X-rays can be used in studies involving lighter elements like carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, and have a lower energy than “hard” X-rays that can penetrate deeper into samples.

It will also expand access to “tender” X-rays, which occupy an energy range between hard and soft X-rays and can be useful for studies of earth, environmental, energy, and condensed-matter sciences.

But achieving this performance is a tricky feat, noted Daniela Leitner, who is responsible for accelerator removal and installation for the ALS-U project. The main storage ring is housed in thick concrete tunnels designed to fit one ring, and now the upgrade requires that a second ring be squeezed in.

Click here and use your mouse to navigate the tunnels on a virtual tour of the existing Advanced Light Source storage ring. (Credit: Matterport, Berkeley Lab)


Accumulator ring to function as a mini ALS, will boost performance of new storage ring

“We need to build a ‘mini ALS,’” Leitner said, in the form of the accumulator ring. The accumulator ring will measure about 600 feet in circumference while the main storage ring will be about 640 feet in circumference. It must be installed about 6 1/2 feet above the floor — just 7 inches below the ceiling height in some places — and fit snugly around an inner wall to allow workers to safely navigate the ALS’ tunnels.

Robin noted, “This is a complicated logistical ‘dance.’ It is a very confined space, and there is equipment in the existing tunnel that has to be moved to make room.”

Photo - A 3D-printed full-scale model of an accumulator ring component known as a sextupole (left) sits atop a rack. The model and rack helps in planning for the accumulator ring installation. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

A 3D-printed full-scale model of an accumulator ring component known as a sextupole (left) sits atop a rack. The metal pipe (middle) stemming from the center of the model represents an electron beam pipe. The model and rack help in planning for the actual accumulator ring assembly and installation. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

The accumulator ring is designed to be compact, with a reduced weight, footprint, and power consumption compared to the existing storage ring.

The accumulator ring installation, which is enabled by the CD-3a release of funds, will also be carefully orchestrated to minimize disruptions to ALS operations, with installation work fit into regularly scheduled downtimes over the next few years. The ALS typically runs 24/7 outside of scheduled maintenance downtimes.

The plan is to install and test the accumulator ring prior to a planned yearlong shutdown – with the potential to test the new ring even during regular ALS operations. The shutdown period, known as “dark time,” will allow the removal of the existing storage ring and installation of the new storage ring.

Installing the accumulator ring in advance allows the project team to minimize the shutdown period, which will require the removal and replacement of 400 tons of equipment. This final stage of the project is slated to begin in a few years.

Photo - This powerful magnetic device is a prototype for the seven "main bend" magnets that will be installed in the ALS accumulator ring. The poles are constructed oof precision-machined cobalt-iron. The device weighs 1 ton. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

This powerful magnetic device is a prototype for 84 “main bend” magnets that will be installed as a part of the new main storage ring. An additional 24 bend magnets will have a different design. The poles are constructed of precision-machined cobalt-iron. The device weighs 1 ton. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

Construction of the accumulator ring will involve bringing about 80 tons of new equipment into the facility. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2020. There are dozens of major pieces of equipment to install, including specialized magnetic devices that help to bend and focus the electron beam. These magnetic devices are part of an array of seven pieces that must be installed in each of the 12 ALS sectors and connected by vacuum tubes.

The accumulator ring installation will take an estimated 53,000 worker-hours and requires the placement of thousands of cables.

Prototypes and simulations to ease assembly, installation, troubleshooting

The ALS-U project team has built and acquired prototypes for key components of the accumulator ring, and has constructed models of some of the accumulator ring equipment at their designed height to find the best installation methods. Project crews will also build out fully equipped sections of the accumulator ring to measure their alignment and test the integrated hardware prior to installation to help speed up the process.

Main Bend Magnet Prototyp e

Another view of the main bend magnetic device prototype. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

Leitner said that about 80 percent of the installation can be assisted by an overhead crane that will lift heavy equipment into the tunnels, but there are also plans for elevated platforms to ease the installation, and customized lifts to enable installation where the crane cannot be used.

Steier said that technical improvements in accelerator simulations should help to troubleshoot and negate potential problems ahead of time that may arise with the commissioning of the accumulator ring and storage ring. The algorithms account for misaligned magnets and power-supply fluctuations, for example, that are common with constructing large accelerator facilities.

“In general, we simulate everything beforehand, and over time these simulations have become more accurate,” he said, to the point that the simulations can actually guide design choices for the accelerator equipment, and could speed up the ALS-U startup process.

Robin said, “I’m really proud of what the team has accomplished over the last few years.”

The Advanced Light Source is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.




Man at podium is Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary of Energy for the DOE's Office of Science, gives the welcoming remarks at the Quantum Internet Blueprint Workshop, held Feb. 5-6 in New York City.

Undersecretary Dabbar gives opening remarks

DOE-SC Workshop Begins Mapping the Future of Quantum Communications

From an article by Kathy Kincade, Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, under the leadership of Under Secretary of Energy Paul Dabbar, sponsored some 70 representatives from multiple government agencies and universities at the first Quantum Internet Blueprint Workshop, held in New York City Feb. 5-6. The primary goal of the workshop was to begin laying the groundwork for a nationwide entangled quantum Internet.

Building on the efforts of the Chicago Quantum Exchange at the University of Chicago, Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories, and LiQuIDNet (Long Island Quantum Distribution Network) at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University, the event was organized by Brookhaven. ATAP Interim Director Thomas Schenkel was the Lab’s point of contact for the workshop, a co-organizer, and co-chair of the quantum networking control hardware breakout session.

More …

The technical program committee was co-chaired by Kerstin Kleese Van Dam, director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven, and Inder Monga, director of ESnet at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. ESnet’s Michael Blodgett also attended the workshop.

“The dollars we have put into quantum information science have increased by about fivefold over the last three years,” Dabbar told the New York Times on February 10 after the Trump Administration announced a new budget proposal that includes significant funding for quantum information science, including the quantum Internet.

In parallel with the growing interest and investment in creating viable quantum computing technologies, researchers believe that a quantum Internet could have a profound impact on a number of application areas critical to science, national security, and industry. Application areas include upscaling of quantum computing by helping connect distributed quantum computers, quantum sensing through a network of quantum telescopes, quantum metrology, and secure communications.

Toward this end, the workshop explored the specific research and engineering advances needed to build a quantum Internet in the near term, along with what is needed to move from today’s limited local network experiments to a viable, secure quantum Internet.

“This meeting was a great first step in identifying what will be needed to create a quantum Internet,” said Monga, noting that ESnet engineers have been helping Brookhaven and Stony Brook researchers build the fiber infrastructure to test some of the initial devices and techniques that are expected to play a key role in enabling long-distance quantum communications. “The group was very engaged and is looking to define a blueprint. They identified a clear research roadmap with many grand challenges and are cautiously optimistic on the timeframe to accomplish that vision.”

Lab Hosts Back-to-Back Superconducting Magnet Events

US Magnet Development logoThe 2020 general meeting of the US Magnet Development Program was held February 22-24. The LBNL-headquartered, multi-institutional USMDP was founded in 2016 to aggressively pursues the development of superconducting accelerator magnets that operate as closely as possible to the fundamental limits of superconducting materials and at the same time minimize or eliminate magnet “training” — the need to break in a magnet in a series of steps to achieve its design field strength.

The USMDP General Meeting was followed by the IEEE Low Temperature Superconductor Workshop, February 26-28. The 62 registered participants come from DOE, seven US and two international laboratories, 5 universities, and — in an indication of the significance and burgeoning applications of superconductivity — 19 private-sector companies. Fusion energy, high-energy physics, and medical applications such as magnetic resonance imaging are among the user communities represented.

ATAP Instructors Featured at Winter 2020 USPAS

Soren Prestemon with awardOne of the most important venues for workforce development in the accelerator community is the US Particle Accelerator School (USPAS), which offers courses, with the option of credit through university partners, in beam physics and accelerator technology and related topics.

ATAP, almost always represented on the USPAS faculty, played an especially prominent role in the Winter 2020 session, held January 13-24 in San Diego, California. Ten current ATAP employees and one from the Engineering Division were on the instructional teams of four of the graduate-level USPAS courses.

More …

The courses and instructors were
•    Microwave Measurements and Beam Instrumentation Laboratory: Derun Li, Larry Doolittle, Gang Huang, Tianhuan Luo, Stefano de Santis, Dan Wang
•    Beam Physics with Intense Space Charge: Steve Lund, MSU and USPAS; John Barnard, LLNL; Arun Persaud, LBNL
•    High Brightness Electron Injectors and Applications: Daniele Filippetto and Chad Mitchell, LBNL; Pietro Musumeci, UCLA
•    Magnetic Systems for Accelerators, Detectors, and Insertion Devices: Ross Schlueter, Soren Prestemon, and Diego Arbelaez, LBNL

The ATAP connections don’t stop there. John Barnard, an Acting Associate Program Leader in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Fusion Energy Sciences Program, was on one of these teams. So was Professor Steve Lund, formerly of LLNL, now with Michigan State University’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and also serving as USPAS Director. Both worked closely with us for years in the Heavy Ion Fusion Virtual National Laboratory.

Class photo of Microwave Measurements and Beam Instrumentation Lab, USPAS Winter 2020

ATAP’s Derun Li, Dan Wang, Tianhuan Luo, Gang Huang, and Stefano de Santis, and staff engineer Larry Doolittle, taught the Microwave Measurements and Beam Instrumentation Laboratory

Class photo of Magnet Systems, USPAS Winter 2020

ATAP’s Soren Prestemon and Engineering Division’s Ross Schlueter and Diego Arbelaez taught Magnetic Systems for Accelerators, Detectors, and Insertion Devices

Class picture, Beam Physics with Intense Space Charge, USPAS, Winter 2020

ATAP alumni Steve Lund (now head of the school) and John Barnard joined ATAP staff scientist Arun Persaud to teach Beam Physics with Intense Space Charge

Class photo, High Brightness Injectors and Applications, USPAS Winter 2020

ATAP’s Daniele Filippetto and Chad Mitchell teamed up with Prof. Pietro Musumeci of UCLA to teach High Brightness Electron Injectors and Applications

ATAP’s involvement with USPAS goes back to the early days of the school. Beginning with the symposium-style programs of the 1980s and including the Joint International Accelerator School, more than 80 people who were, had been, or would become employees of ATAP and its predecessor organizations have taught a total of more than 100 courses and lectures. Many of these courses are team-taught with colleagues from other institutions, forging lasting connections throughout the accelerator community.

ATAP staff have taught at CERN Accelerator School sessions as well, most recently including Jean-Luc Vay’s “Modeling and Simulation” lectures in March 2019, and Ji Qiang’s “Monte Carlo Simulation Techniques” and “Multi-Particle Simulation Techniques” in 2018.

Class photo of NE-282 on a tour of the ALS

NE-282 tours the ALS

The University of California-Berkeley campus, adjacent to LBNL, also offers opportunities for education in beam physics, technology, and applications. This semester, ATAP Interim Director Thomas Schenkel and Carl Schroeder, BELLA Center Deputy Director for Theory, are teaching NE-C282, “Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology,” a graduate course in the Department of Nuclear Engineering.

Schenkel and Schroeder had previously taught the course in the Spring 2018 semester. Similar courses had been taught previously by other ATAP staff — most recently by David Robin (now ALS-U Project Director) and Christoph Steier.




Soren Prestemon and Steve Lund

Prestemon (l.) is given the Iron Man Award by USPAS Director Steve Lund

USPAS Iron Man Award: Soren Prestemon

The USPAS Winter 2020 session brought special recognition for Soren Prestemon, who serves as ATAP’s Deputy Division Director for Technology and heads the LBNL-headquartered US Magnet Development Program and the ATAP-Engineering Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology.

The award “in recognition and appreciation of exceptional contributions in teaching at USPAS sessions” recognizes those who have taught 12 classes. Prestemon is the school’s seventh Iron Man and the third with an ATAP connection.

Cameron Geddes

Cameron Geddes

USPAS Prize: Cameron Geddes

USPAS also recognizes achievement throughout the accelerator community. Cameron Geddes, the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center’s Deputy Director for Experiments, received the 2019 USPAS Prize for Achievement in Accelerator Science and Technology. Geddes was honored “For pioneering experiments on laser guiding, electron trapping, and high-quality beam production in laser-plasma accelerators.”

More …

Geddes has led a variety of the Center’s experimental projects, including a new laser facility for one of the many promising near-term applications of laser-plasma accelerators: compact quasi-monoenergetic gamma-ray sources for nuclear nonproliferation and security inspection. He has broad research experience in plasma physics, which at Berkeley Lab has included experimental designs for the PW laser, demonstration of novel concepts in particle injection and beam quality, staging experiments, high energy density science, and large-scale simulations. After working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Polymath Research on inertial-fusion-related laser-plasma interactions, he earned his doctorate at UC-Berkeley and LBNL in 2005, receiving the Hertz and APS Rosenbluth dissertation prizes. He joined the LBNL staff upon graduation.

Geddes is the seventh person associated with ATAP and its predecessor organizations to receive the USPAS Prize since its inception in 1988.


A recap of recent news, in case you missed it…

Guiding GARD: ATAP Hosts First Strategic-Roadmap Workshop

More GARD Workshop participantsAt the request of the Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics, the accelerator community is developing a Strategic Roadmap for Accelerator and Beam Physics thrust of the HEP General Accelerator R&D (GARD) program. To solicit input to the roadmap, we hosted the first of two preparatory workshops December 9-10, 2019. (The second will be held in the Chicago area in March 2020.)

More …

The goal of the workshops is to identify the Accelerator and Beam Physics needs that are key to fulfilling OHEP’s GARD mission and to develop a decadal roadmap for thrust activities that OHEP could support.Roomful of GARD Workshop participantsMore GARD Workshop participants

Stakeholders from across the national-laboratory complex participated. The Berkeley Lab workshop was organized into four Working Groups that focused on these topics:

(WG1) Single-particle dynamics, including nonlinearities, and spin dynamics. Conveners: S. Nagaitsev, L. Spentzouris, Y. Cai.
(WG2) High-brightness beam generation (including polarized beams), transport, manipulation and cooling. Conveners: J. Rosenzweig, P. Piot, A. Valishev
(WG3) Mitigation and control of collective phenomena: instabilities, space charge, beam-beam, beam-ion effects, wakefields, and coherent synchrotron radiation. Conveners: J. Power, Z. Huang, S. Cousineau
(WG4) Connections to other GARD roadmaps (cross-cutting WG1-3) [Conveners: J.-L. Vay, M. Conde, M. Hogan]

The upcoming Chicago-area workshop, March 12-13, will emphasize four different topics:
(WG1) Advanced accelerator instrumentation and controls.
(WG2) Modeling and simulation tools (including energy deposition); fundamental theory and applied math.
(WG3) Early conceptual integration and optimization, maturity evaluation
(WG4) Connections to other GARD roadmaps; synergies with non-HEP

Jean-Luc Vay, head of ATAP’s Accelerator Modeling Program, organized the Workshop with the help of the ATAP operations team.



Editor’s Note, 12 March:  As part of the Laboratory’s response to COVID-19,  Nuclear Science Day for Scouts and Bring a Kid to Work Day will have to be postponed or cancelled. Please see their respective websites for further guidance.  

Two events that let you have fun while helping to build the scientific workforce of the future are coming up: Nuclear Science Day for Scouts (Saturday, March 21) and Bring a Kid to Work Day (Friday, April 17). Both events are made possible by volunteers who want to share with others what’s so interesting about our work.

Young lady in Scout uniform participates in Nuclear Science Day

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, etc. — and up to date on the atom

Nuclear Science Day: Saturday, March 21

On Saturday, March 21, the Nuclear Science Division, ATAP, the Advanced Light Source, and the Government and Community Relations Office are co-hosting the Nuclear Science Day for Scouts.

The popular event, now in its 10th year, brings as many as 180-200 Boy and Girl Scouts in grades 8 and above to the Lab as part of earning a nuclear science merit badge.

Volunteers are a key to Nuclear Science Day, assisting with such tasks as registration in the morning, assistance with workshops, a career panel, and chaperoning groups from one activity to the next, where local experts will show them around and answer their questions.

Ina Reichel, youngsters at Daughters and Sons to Work Day

ATAP’s Ina Reichel demonstrates cryogenics

Bring a Kid to Work Day: Friday, April 17

Bring a Kid to Work Day will be held Friday, April 17, 2020. Formerly known as Daughters and Sons to Work Day, it’s a Berkeley Lab tradition that goes back so far, early participants are embarking on their own careers.

Employees’ children aged 9 to 16 are invited to a day of career exploration and fun, with organized activities Labwide (including our famous liquid-nitrogen ice cream). Space is limited to 150 children. We expect registration to open on March 16.

Imitation church sign reading "VOL NTEE S: What's missing?"Bring a Kid to Work Day needs volunteers — not just researchers, but people from all walks of life and all parts of the Lab. Team science takes players at many positions, and kids have a variety of interests. Your dedication to building things or ensuring safety or administering finances could mean you’re just the role model a nascent career needs.

People who would like to help with the liquid nitrogen workshop (the activity that results in ice cream) at Bring a Kid to Work Day should contact ATAP Outreach and Education Coordinator Ina Reichel directly at or 510.486-4341.

These are just a few of Berkeley Lab’s opportunities to guide and encourage the generation that will build the future. To learn more, visit the Lab’s K-12 Education site or contact Ina Reichel.



Get the Scoop on Carpooling

Illustration showing use of device to arrange carpool

Hoping to scoop up someone to share the ride on your commute? There’s an app for that

Have you thought about carpooling, but don’t know how to find someone whose schedule and start and end locations harmonize with yours today? A new app called Scoop helps match the whereabouts and schedules of co-workers and neighbors for the drive at hand. With its help, we can reduce congestion and our ecological footprint, save money too — and build professional and human connections doing it.

Scoop is designed to be used each morning and evening to meet people for one shared ride. If the people who meet through Scoop have predictable schedules, they may find themselves able to organize a traditional carpool outside the app.

Scoop is just one of many ways in which the Lab is constantly working to make alternatives to the single-passenger car more numerous and attractive.

Visit for the latest information about carpooling, shuttle bus routes, public-transit incentives, bicycling, and telecommuting.


For a full list, see the Publications tab of this website.

Francis Alexander et al., incl. Jean-Luc Vay (LBNL), “Exascale applications: skin in the game,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 378, 20190056 (20 January 2020),

T.G. Blackburn (University of Gothenburg); D. Seipt (University of Michigan); S.S. Bulanov (LBNL); and M. Marklund (University of Gothenburg), “Radiation beaming in the quantum regime,” Physical Review A 101, 012505 (10 January 2020),

S.V. Bulanov (Institute of Physics of the ASCR, v.v.i. (FZU), ELI-Beamlines Project; Kansai Photon Science Institute; and Prokhorov General Physics Institute RAS) et al., incl. S.S. Bulanov (LBNL), “Electromagnetic Solitons in Quantum Vacuum,” Phys. Rev. D 101, 016016 (28 January 2020),

H. Feng (LBNL and Tsinghua University); S. De Santis, K. Baptiste (LBNL); W. Huang, C. Tang (Tsinghua University); and D. Li (LBNL), “Proposed design and optimization of a higher harmonic cavity for ALS-U,” Review of Scientific Instruments 91, 014712 (30 January 2020); ht

Biaobin Li (National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China, and LBNL) and Ji Qiang (LBNL), “Mitigation of microbunching instability in x-ray free electron laser linacs,” Physical Review Accelerators and Beams 23, 014403 (9 January 2020),

MICE Collaboration, incl. A. DeMello, S. Gourlay, A. Lambert, D. Li, T. Luo, S. Prestemon, and S. Virostek (LBNL), “Demonstration of cooling by the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment,” Nature 578 (5 February 2020), pp. 53-9,
See also the companion News and Views article: Robert D. Ryne (LBNL), “Muon colliders come a step closer,”

Daniel E. Mittelberger (now at LLNL), Maxence Thévenet, Kei Nakamura, Anthony J. Gonsalves, Carlo Benedetti, Joost Daniels, Sven Steinke, Rémi Lehe, Jean-Luc Vay, Carl B. Schroeder, Eric Esarey, and Wim P. Leemans (now at DESY), “Laser and electron deflection from transverse asymmetries in laser-plasma accelerators,” Physical Review E 100, 063208 (23 December 2019),

Ji Qiang, “Advances in global optimization of high brightness beams,” International Journal of Modern Physics A 34 (11 December 2019), 1942016 (16 pages),

Ji Qiang, “Emittance growth due to random force error,” Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 948, 162844 (21 December 2019);

Invited talks without publication venue
Ji Qiang, “Space-charge effects in high intensity accelerators,” GARD ABP workshop 1 (Berkeley, CA December 9-10, 2019).



Calendar image of April 2, circled and with a red pushpin

ATAP, Engineering, ALS-U Safety Day April 2

Editor’s Note, 12 March:  As part of the Laboratory’s response to COVID-19,  the Safety Day scheduled for April 2 has been called off.   

Safety Day is a successful annual tradition in the ATAP and Engineering Divisions and the ALS-U Project that reflects our top priority of safety. This all-hands, all-hazards, all-day event has a mission of “Clean Labs, Clean Shops, Clean Offices,” reflecting its emphasis on good housekeeping and identification of hazards in common areas, offices, labs, and shops.

Chemical stewardship will be a special focus this year, as will on-the-job training.

Detailed instructions, including a list of disposal / recycling locations, self-assessment (QUEST) team assignments and checklists, and management walkaround assignments and checklists, will be posted on the Safety Day web page (coming soon).

Please reserve Thursday, April 2 for this highly beneficial investment in the benefits of a safe and well organized workplace.

Scenes from Safety Day 2019

A morning of hard work by all resulted in the efficiency and sense of pride that comes from clean, well organized workspaces. In the afternoon, QUEST Team inspections and management walkthroughs performed quality-assurance verification of the morning’s successes and gathered the action items that required further work or more resources.


A Month of Preparedness

The anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (and the comparably devastating fire that ensued) is April 18, so April is Earthquake Preparedness Month. A Labwide earthquake drill on March 31 will kick things off by testing our readiness.

Illustration of how to DROP to the floor, COVER at least your head and neck and preferably find sturdy whole-body refuge, and HOLD on in a quake

In a quake, drop to the floor, protectively cover at least your head and neck (take whole-body cover under something sturdy if available), and hold on

The March 31 drill will also point to things we can improve on Safety Day, such as paying extra attention to things that could fall off shelves and making sure there’s a clear, protected area in your office which to duck, cover, and hold on. It’s also a great time to check and update your “go bag” of emergency supplies.

Our emergency preparedness page has links to a variety of resources to help you prepare before, survive during, and recover after the next earthquake or other emergency.

Lab Alert iconWith all that fresh in our minds, on April 23, a Labwide Safety/Security/Sustainability Fair will be held in the cafeteria parking lot, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.