Accelerator Physics
22 Mar 2010



The Accelerator Physics (AP) group at ASTeC is responsible for the understanding of charged particle beam behaviour in support of STFC's development of new particle accelerator facilities and the science and technology that underpins them.




Led by Hywel Owen, the physicists in the AP group have extensive expertise built up through the development of a number of working accelerator facilities. The group's work focuses primarily on electron accelerator systems, and we contribute significantly to the design and operation of CLARA, the UK's electron test facility for future accelerators such as a UK free-electron laser. We support a number of national and international partners in their efforts to develop future research facilities, notably for particle physics and plasma acceleration.

The AP group is a partner group within the Cockcroft Institute, and we support the research and educational of the Institute; we support a number of PhD students both from Cockcroft and from other partner institutes.

Our group publications are available on the STFC ePubs Publication Archive.

The main development areas of the group are:

  • Beam physics design of CLARA, the proposed RUEDI electron diffraction and imaging facility, and the UK free-electron laser development programme
  • Surface science and photocathode development for high-brightness photoinjectors
  • Photoinjector design and construction
  • Radiation processes from electrons, including synchrotron radiation, coherent radiation and Compton scattering
  • Collective effects, particularly space charge mechanisms and wakefields

Past and current project highlights include:

  • Beam physics design and commissioning of ALICE, Europe's first energy-recovery linac and Europe's first ERL-driven free-electron laser
  • Beam physics design and commissioning of EMMA, the world's first non-scaling FFA ring
  • Beam physics design of DIAMOND-I, the UK's national X-ray facility, and contributions to the beam physics design of its proposed upgrade, DIAMOND-II
  • Beam physics design of RUEDI, a future UK relativistic electron diffraction and imaging facility
  • Beam transport and experimental design on EPAC, the UK's laser-plasma facility currently under construction at RAL
  • Contributions to the commissioning and experimental development of ATF2, SwissFEL, FERMI@Elettra, CBETA, MAX-IV, and CEBAF


The AP group is always interested to discuss new ideas, initiatives and collaborations. Please contact Hywel Owen to discuss.

​Group Staff

Current associate members of the group:

Prof. Elaine Seddon (University of Manchester/Cockcroft Institute)​

Current PhD Students in the AP group:

  • Chris Benjamin (University of Warwick, supervised by Tim Noakes and Gavin Bell)

  • Lily Berman (University of Strathclyde, supervised by Peter Williams and Bernhard Hidding)

  • Adam Dixon (University of Liverpool, supervised by Peter Williams and Tessa Charles)

  • Thomas Gallagher (University of Liverpool, supervised by Bruno Muratori and Andy Wolski

  • Harvey Gould (University of Lancaster, supervised by Peter Williams and Ian Bailey)​

  • ​​Ali Kosari-Mehr  (University of Liverpool, supervised by Lee Jones and Carsten Welsch)

  • Connor Monaghan (University of Liverpool, supervised by Boris Militsyn ​and Peter Williams and Carsten Welsch​​)

  • Alex Morris (University of Liverpool, supervised by Peter Williams and Laura Corner)

  • Hannah Norman (University of Manchester, supervised by Rob Appleby and Hywel Owen)

  • Andrew Potter (University of Liverpool, supervised by Frank Jackson and Andy Wolski)

  • ​Liam Soomary (University of Liverpool, supervised by Lee Jones and Carsten Welsch)

  • Adam Steinberg (University of Manchester, supervised by Rob Appleby and Hywel Owen)

  • Dominic Sterland (University of Warwick, supervised by Tim Noakes and Gavin Bell)

Contact: Baker, Emily (STFC,DL,AST)