Advanced-Accelerator Concepts

This project investigates novel particle-accelerator concepts – including high-gradient particle acceleration, cold electron sources, and beam manipulation – that could support the realization of very compact particle accelerators with application ranging from Fundamental science, medicine and Industry.

The Gaea cluster supports the exploration of beam-driven particle acceleration techniques capable of achieving very high accelerating field in the GigaElectronVolt-per-meter range, i.e. two orders of magnitude higher than conventional accelerators. Gaea also enables the investigation of ultra-cold electron source capable of producing high-quality electron beams for free-electron-laser and ultra-fast electron diffraction applications. The cluster is also use to examine possible applications of electron beam to produce high-energy photon beams by colliding with intense laser pulses.

Our group make extensive use of software from the BerkleyLab Accelerator Simulation Toolkit (BLAST; see ) and suite of software available from the Argonne Accelerator Physics group at the Advanced Photon Source
( We also develop our own software when needed.

More info on our research can be found at


Electromagnetic field produced by an electron beam in a dielectric-lined waveguide

Electromagnetic simulations performed with VORPAL and showing the axial electric field excited by an electron bunch propagating in a dielectric-lined rectangular waveguide.








Simulation of a gated field-emission electron source.



















The particle-in-cell simulation provides the electrons distribution (appearing as spheres) emitted from a sharp tip in the presence of a high voltage (applied between the base of the tip and the apertured anode).


Principal Investigator: Dr. Philippe Piot, Department of Physics