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High-Intensity Beam Transport Using Nonlinear Optics

This NSF-funded project on High-Intensity Beam Transport using Nonlinear Optics, under the direction of Dr. Timothy Koeth and Dr. Brian Beaudoin, is located in the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics at the University of Maryland.

For information, please contact Tim (301) 405-4952 and Brian (301) 405-6994.


Particle accelerators are important to a wide variety of applications. While the best known of these applications is associated with high energy physics, other applications such as cancer treatment and materials processing are becoming increasingly important on both a humanistic and technological level. Since the pioneering accelerators of the 1930s the maximum energy to which particles can be accelerated, known as the energy frontier, has increased many orders of magnitude. The intensity frontier, which refers to the number of particles that can be simultaneously accelerated, has progressed much more slowly, despite its importance to a variety of applications. The major limitation to accelerating intense beams is the inherent nonlinear dynamics at high currents.

A recent theoretical demonstration that a strongly nonlinear lattice results in integrable orbits to stably transport intense particle beams, has resulted in a fundamental rethinking of the conventional wisdom which considered nonlinear elements as inherently problematic and has opened the possibility of a significant increase in the ability to transport high intensity beams.

Our program uses the unique capabilities of the University of Maryland Electron Ring to experimentally explore, in concert with simulation, a practical demonstration of using a strongly nonlinear lattice to stably transport intense beams.



The figure illustrates our generation 1 octupoles designed in Maxwell/MATLAB (shown on the left) and the flexible PCB drawn in AutoCAD (shown on the right). The peak gradient is 1.1 G/cm3 at an excitation of 3 A in the coils. The flexible printed circuit boards have iron (no hysteresis) and are low cost per unit. The generation 1 design is similar to the UMER quadrupole/dipole cosθ magnets.


  1. K. J. Ruisard, I. Haber, R. A. Kishek, and T. Koeth, "Nonlinear Optics at the University of Maryland Electron Ring," Proceedings of the 16th Workshop on Advanced Accelerator Concepts (AAC), San Jose, CA, July (New York: AIP Press, 2014).
  2. K. J. Ruisard, B. L. Beaudoin, I. Haber, and T. Koeth, "Simulations and Experiments in Support of Octupole Lattice Studies at the University of Maryland Electron Ring," Proceedings of the 2015 International Particle Accelerator Conference, Richmond, VA, USA.