Peter specialises in the conception, design, simulation and commissioning of electron accelerators; in particular linacs for driving free-electron lasers (FELs). He is a leading expert in the beam dynamics of energy recovery linacs (ERLs), having a decade of experimental experience on Daresbury’s ALICE ERL driven FEL.
Peter is currently the lead accelerator physics designer for CLARA, the UKs national FEL test facility currently under construction and commissioning at Daresbury. Peter is also the lead accelerator physicist for the UK-XFEL facility proposal.
Peter has been involved in many international accelerator projects, notably Max-IV and an industrial chip lithography FEL design.
Peter is currently supervising three PhD students; Bill Kyle (Manchester), who is investigating theoretical and experimental aspects of coherent synchrotron radiation; Alex Brynes (Liverpool), who is investigating microbunching instabilities at Free-Electron Laser facilities; and Gustavo Perez-Segurana (Lancaster), who is investigating longitudinal properties of multipass ERLs for future light source and nuclear physics facilities.
Peter has previously supervised one PhD student, Nathan Woollett (graduated 2015, thesis “A Dark Photon Search by Shining Light Through Walls", University of Lancaster). Peter has also supervised two year-in-industry students; Billy Liggins (now undertaking PhD at QMUL) and Matthew Toplis (now undertaking PhD at UCL) and one postdoctoral researcher; Matti Kalliokoski (progressed to CERN fellow, now researcher at Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia)
Peter has an ongoing interest in novel applications of particle accelerator technology. For example he initiated a programme utilising high quality microwave cavities to search for additional massive photons and axions – possible candidates for dark matter. Peter is currently investigating applications for high energy, high current electron beams.
Peter is a committee member of the Institute of Physics Particle Accelerators and Beams group, and was secretary of the group from 2012 – 2016.
Peter is author of 15 peer-reviewed journal articles, 72 conference proceedings and 5 accelerator facility conceptual design reports.
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A graduate of Edinburgh University, Peter completed his PhD in 2003 in theoretical high energy physics at Durham University. He then undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Oklahoma and Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States, where he calculated cross sections related to Higgs production at the LHC. Peter joined the ASTeC Accelerator Physics group in June 2006.