Dr Chris Prior - Intense Beams Group Leader
22 Mar 2010




Dr Chris Prior intense Beams Group Leader


Chris Prior read mathematics at Churchill College, Cambridge (BA(hons) 1970, Tyson Medallist) and completed a PhD in 1974 under Prof Stephen Hawking (Thesis title: Angular Momentum in General Relativity).

He spent a post-doctoral year at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, before taking up a post as IBM Research Fellow at Trinity College, Oxford in 1976.

In 1980, Chris changed direction to research in the field of particle accelerators through a joint-appointment between Trinity and the Rutherford High Energy Laboratory (now RAL). At Trinity he became an Official Fellow as Tutor in Mathematics in 1984 and Senior Mathematics Tutor in 1987. He served as Vice-President in 1998-99.

At RAL was a member of ISIS Accelerator Theory group (later group leader) before moving to become head of ASTeC's Intense Beams Group in 2003. He holds associate appointments at CERN and Fermilab.

He was Chairman of the European Physical Society Accelerator Group 2004-6 and Chairman of the European Particle Accelerator Conference, EPAC, in 2006.

In 2004 he was made STFC Fellow at RAL.


Chris has a wide range of mathematically based skills with applications to the physics of charged particle beams. These include the development of numerical techniques and the construction of computer codes to model existing accelerators and for use in the design of future machines. The emphasis is on theoretical design rather than hardware and construction.

Current Research Interests

  • High intensity proton accelerators, including general optical design and advanced beam dynamics.
  • Studies of possible options for upgrading the ISIS spallation neutron source.
  • Study of proton and muon accelerators for a Neutrino Factory or Muon Collider.
  • Study of different types of accelerator (e.g. synchrotrons and FFAGs) and applications in areas such as transmutation, ADSR, medical therapy.
  • General code development for the study of future high intensity accelerators.

Chris Prior's publications (link opens in a new window).

Chris's personal page.