US High Gradient Research Collaboration Workshop 2007   SLAC

Historical Relevance

Mark I accelerator section photo with Professor Hansen and three graduate students.

Mark I accelerator section: Professor William W. Hansen (right) of the Stanford Physics Department and three of his graduate students: (left to right) Stanley Kaisel, Clarence Carlson, and William Kennedy. They are holding one of the first sections of the first Stanford traveling wave electron linear accelerator. (Image courtesy of SLAC Archives.)

The Workshop on the U.S. High Gradient Research Collaboration for Future Colliders to be held at SLAC May 23-25 of this year happens to coincide with an important anniversary in the history of linear electron accelerators. Almost exactly 60 years ago, groups at T.R.E., Great Malvern in the UK, and at Stanford University in the U.S. for the first time successfully accelerated electrons with disk-loaded waveguides powered initially with S-band magnetrons.

Conceptual work on electron linear accelerators had already started in the late 1930's but interest in nuclear physics research and medical accelerators combined with the availability of relatively high power microwave radar tubes from WWII greatly speeded up these developments.

Upon examination of early publications by the T.R.E. and Stanford groups and by others at MIT, Yale, Purdue, G.E., Australia and probably others, it is noteworthy that all of them almost immediately had to face and consider many of the fundamental problems of electron acceleration, gradient, bunching, beam focusing, energy spectrum, microwave power generation and stability. These problems subsequently had to be confronted by the designers of the SLAC linac and many other electron linacs still successfully running today. Interestingly, they are also involved in the design of linear electron-positron colliders for the future.

For these reasons, the Organizing Committee of this workshop has decided to incorporate in its program a session to commemorate this 60th anniversary, linking the past to the future of this field with a few presentations yet to be determined. A more complete announcement will be sent out in the next few weeks.

Previous Workshops: July 2005 at SLAC, November 2005 at the University of Maryland, and at ACC 2006.

Last update: September 02, 2010