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Educating our Next Generation Researchers in Combined Laser and Accelerator Applications

Educating our Next Generation Researchers in Combined Laser and Accelerator Applications

Participants of the LA³NET Advanced School on Laser Applications


The LA³NET Lanetwork is built around 17 early stage researchers working on dedicated projects to research and develop a complete spectrum of laser-based applications for accelerators. The network presently consists of an international consortium of more than 30 partner organizations including universities, research centres and private companies working in this field. The project provides a wide ranging training programme comprising schools, workshops and an international conference. The idea is to provide a cross-sector interdisciplinary environment for beyond state-of-the-art research and researcher training while developing links and new collaborations.

The Spanish Pulsed Lasers Centre (CLPU) in Salamanca, Spain recently hosted the LA³NET Advanced School on Laser Applications at Accelerators, attracting over 70 participants from around the world. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) made a major contribution to the school, with Dr. Erik Bründermann standing in for Professor Anke-Susanne Müller to represent KIT on the supervisory board. The two LA³NET fellows at KIT, Cheng Chang and Andrii Borysenko, both presented posters of their work which will be available via the event website.

CLPU Director Prof. Luis Roso opened the proceedings together with Dr. Enrique Conejero, giving introductions on Salamanca, the hosts and the school itself. This was followed by a brief overview of LA³NET before the main lecture programme started. The first day’s talks an introduction to lasers, the history of accelerator development in Europe, accelerator applications, as well as beam generation, acceleration and diagnostics – all given by internationally renowned lecturers.

Day two included lectures on laser ion sources, photo-injectors and Free Electron Lasers (FELs), in addition to a two-hour study session giving delegates a chance for a hands-on look at some of the topics covered. An outreach talk on “attosecond science” by Prof. Luis Plaja in the evening at the main University of Salamanca campus attracted more than 100 students from the university and local high schools in addition to the school participants.


The following days covered advanced topics in ion and electron acceleration, commonly used simulation codes for accelerator design and optimization, as well as industry applications of accelerators and lasers. This was complemented by a Laserlab-sponsored visit to the facilities at CLPU, a second study session and a lively poster display and industry exhibition, sponsored by Danfysik. The School drew to a close with talks on THz applications, compact X-ray sources and the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project.  The School stimulated many fruitful discussions throughout the week and was an excellent addition to the many scientific events the network has organized to date. All presentations can be found on the School’s Indico site.

The LA³NET project is coordinated by the Cockcroft Institute/University of Liverpool and led by Professor Carsten P. Welsch with assistance in delivery from Dr. Rob Ashworth and the EU TEAM of the Cockcroft Institute. LA³NET is indebted to CLPU staff and in particular Ms. Yaiza Cortés for the local organization and support. The effort of all lecturers for their hard work and excellent contribution to make the School such a success is also appreciated.