Accelerator Technology Group

DDS - Direct Digital Synthesizer (Photo: D. Lens)
DDS – Direct Digital Synthesizer (Photo: D. Lens)


Particle accelerators serve as large research facilities for a variety of application areas in nuclear physics, atomic physics, high energy and plasma physics, biophysics, tumor therapy, material sciences and other disciplines. Different types of particle accelerators (in particular linear accelerators, synchrotrons, microtrons) are suitable for different operational purposes. Every particle accelerator consists of complex subsystems with a multitude of individual components. A synchrotron for example needs among other things the following subsystems:

  • Vacuum system (so that charged particles in the beam pipe can cover large distances)
  • Magnets (at the least for deflection and focusing)
  • Radio frequency cavities (for the actual acceleration)
  • Beam instrumentation / diagnostics
  • Devices for injection and extraction of the beam
  • Control system (for the coordinated control of all subsystems)

As a matter of course, additional higher-ranking aspects exist such as the electrical power supply and the supply of media (e.g. cooling water and air). The overall design of a particle accelerator requires comprehensive expertise, that is collected in the field of accelerator physics, whereas the field of accelerator technology aims at the realization of physical requirements by individual subsystems and components from an engineering perspective. A supporting pillar of accelerator physics and accelerator technology is the theory of electromagnetic fields, which is relevant for numerous of the aforementioned subsystems.