Work Placement / Internship

Particle Accelerator Physicist Industrial Placement

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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ISIS is a spallation neutron and muon source at Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory near Didcot, Oxfordshire. Neutrons and muons are produced through the impacting of an 800 MeV, high-intensity (2.5 × 1013 protons per pulse) proton beam into one of several targets. The proton beam starts as a beam of hydride (H-) ions, which are accelerated to 70 MeV in a linear injector section. These ions are then “stripped” of their electrons as they are injected into the synchrotron ring, whereupon they are further accelerated to 800 MeV.  

The accelerator division is focused on the continued maintenance, optimisation, design, and upgrading of the ISIS facility. This draws in people from a wide variety of disciplines (such as electrical engineers, vacuum engineers, physicists etc.) working towards a common goal. As part of the synchrotron group, the candidate will be working alongside physicists, who are typically focused on modelling and optimisation of the synchrotron, and electrical engineers, focused on beam diagnostics. The injector linac is a major source of beam loss through the acceleration cycle, and thus a limiting factor in the overall efficiency of the facility.

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While some modelling work has been carried out previously, there is relatively little when compared to modelling of the synchrotron. Due to the low energy of this accelerator section, the dynamics of the ion beam is complex, with space charge beam a significant factor in the evolution of the beam. Modelling of these processes and the resultant beam dynamics will aid in both designing future upgrades to the injector as well as optimisation of the current operational state.  

The successful student will be encouraged to both develop these models and validate them against measurements made on the machine.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

  • Learn the essentials of particle accelerator theory  
  • Understand the methodologies used for the computational modelling and simulation of particle accelerators
  • Learn the specific methodologies used in the modelling of low-energy space charge dynamics  
  • Gain an understanding of the general operations of the ISIS facility  
  • Develop a model of the ISIS linac, building upon the work carried out previously  
  • Design and carry out an experimental validation scheme for the model against machine data  
  • Develop tools for use in this experiment  
  • Make use of the model to optimise injector performance  
  • Produce technical reports and deliver presentations on the modelling and experimental work carried out  
  • The successful student may be required to enter controlled radiation environments (following completion of the vital training)  

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry  
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • Good scientific writing skills
  • Good communication skills 
  • Good organisational skills 


  • A 2:1 or higher average grade in the completed portion of undergraduate degree course  
  • Experience in general programming and data analysis (Python, C++) 
  • Experience with specific computing tools (LabView, MS Office) 
  • Prior knowledge of and interest in particle accelerators/accelerator physics theory  
  • Experience in conducting experimental studies; good experimental skills  
  • Willingness to enter and/or work in controlled radiation environments 

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Opportunity Overview

  • October 31st, 2021
  • £20,129 + benefits
  • All grades
  • Year-long
  • Didcot, Oxfordshire
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Control & Instrumentation
  • Electrical
  • Electronic
  • Physics
  • Science

Also Accepting...
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