Simulation result slices open the collision between positron and electron beams.

Snapshot of a simulated high-energy collision between a beam of electrons coming in from upper left and a beam of positrons from lower right. In this visualization, each beam is sliced in half, revealing one component of the electromagnetic field that they generate due to space charge and relativistic effects. The orange area in the center represents photons generated during the collision via quantum-electrodynamics effects.

Particle accelerators are vital to exploring the fundamental nature of the universe, and today, they do far more. The particle and photon beams they provide have become tools for many other fields of science and technology, and practical applications have co-evolved with the machines themselves, improving our day-to-day lives in many ways. Using computational techniques to study beam physics and build better accelerators based on improved or novel concepts (e.g., plasma accelerators) has broad benefits to the research community and society.

3D simulation of a novel “two-color” laser-plasma injection for the generation of high-quality electron beams in plasma-based accelerators.

The AMP team develops and applies advanced computational tools to address today’s most challenging problems in the science of beam physics, high-fidelity modeling of beam transport, and advanced accelerator design. AMP simulation codes have helped improve many of the most challenging accelerators of recent decades in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and basic energy sciences, as well as spinoff applications ranging from homeland security to waste transmutation in the US and internationally. These codes are also actively used to research novel plasma accelerators like those developed at the BELLA Center.

Our ultimate goal is to develop computational tools that let us virtually prototype, design, and optimize entire accelerators self-consistently and that are fast enough for real-time feedback and accelerator auto-tuning.