Student opportunities: Summer 2022

The Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship (ASET) program at Michigan State University (MSU) offers PhD and master's graduate students in physics and astronomy and engineering an exciting training opportunity. To be eligible for this program, the students must be United States citizens or permanent residents. Per instructions from the MSU provost, on-campus programs for undergraduate students are suspended this summer. Therefore, research projects are offered that can be performed remotely working with FRIB instructors. Below is a list of paid undergraduate research projects taking place in summer 2022. 

Paid undergraduate summer research in the Accelerator Systems Division at FRIB

The funding source requires the applicant to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Neural-network surrogate model of 6D radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) aperture
Supervisor: Prof. P. Ostroumov, Dr. K. Hwang

Optimizing the machine (the accelerator) control parameters for maximum beam transmission through RFQ is costly. Physicists often practice the construction of the prior of the machine parameters from numerical studies and then fine-tune them in actual experiments. However, numerical simulation of RFQ is still costly in computational load. On the other hand, the longitudinal acceptance of RFQ is the dominant factor for beam transmission. Therefore, the 2D longitudinal acceptance through interpolation is often used to optimize and construct the prior machine parameter. Here, we visualize and illustrate the usefulness of the Neural-Network surrogate model of 6D radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) acceptance.

Tomographic beam distribution reconstruction in FRIB front-end
Supervisor: Prof. P. Ostroumov, Dr. T. Maruta

FRIB low energy beam transport (LEBT) system is 35 meters long and delivers ions extracted from the source to the radio frequency accelerator. There are many beam diagnostics devices in the LEBT to measure horizontal and vertical beam profiles. The summer student will perform profile monitor measurements and develop a Python-based program to reconstruct a higher-order beam distribution.

Design and testing of superconducting radio frequency cavities
Supervisor: Prof. K. Saito,  Dr. W. Hartung, Dr. Taro Konomi

The state-of-the art technology is being applied for construction of superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities which are widely used in particle accelerators. Particularly, the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is based on 400 MeV/u continuous wave superconducting linear accelerator. The student project deals with the design of an SRF cavity and participation in the RF characterization of modern SC cavities.  The cavity design will be started from an analytic Pill box cavity, then go forward more realistic cavity using a commercial software which solves Maxwell’s equations in complex boundary conditions. The student will also participate and gain experience with cold testing and RF measurements of FRIB cavities at 4 K and 2 K, if the FRIB cavity testing schedule is allowed. For this program, the student has to have understood Maxwell's equation in electromagnetics. 

Measurements of characteristic of superconductors (in person case)
Supervisor: Prof. K. Saito, Chris Compton, Joseph Asciutto, and Dr. Taro Konomi

The state-of-the art technology is being applied for construction of superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities which are widely used in particle accelerators. Currently niobium (Nb) is the best material for the SRF cavities. The important characteristics of the superconductor are RRR (residual resistance ratio), thermal conductivity, Tc (critical temperature of superconductivity), Hc1 (lower critical magnetic field), Hc2 (upper critical magnetic field), and Hc (thermodynamic critical magnetic field). In this course, student will measure the temperature dependence of these characteristics of Nb (type-II superconductor), and Pb, In (type-I superconductor) if time permits. This course is valuable for the introduction to superconductivity and SRF.

Developing an accelerator control model in virtual environment with reinforcement learning
Supervisors: Y. Hao and A. Tran

In reinforcement learning, an agent performs actions in an environment to maximize the reward it would get; for example, one may train an agent controlling a spaceship in a video game to maximize the score. The student will first learn the basics of reinforcement learning using the Gym environment in python and then develop a model for controlling a simplified virtual accelerator.

Meissner effect in superconducting niobium cavities for particle accelerators
Supervisors: S. Kim, W. Hartung

The linear accelerator for FRIB uses superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavities to accelerate ions to more than 200 MeV/nucleon. We are developing a new SRF cavity for a future energy upgrade of the FRIB linac. It is made from niobium and will be operated at cryogenic temperature (2 K) with cooling by superfluid helium. One of the goals of our cavity development program is to achieve the highest possible quality factor (Q0), in order to minimize the power dissipated in the cavity walls and minimize the load to the cryogenic refrigeration plant. The avoidance of trapped magnetic flux in the cavity walls is essential for a high Q0. In principle, the magnetic flux is excluded from a superconductor by the Meissner effect, but real-world superconductors may trap the flux rather than excluding it. In this project the student will study the Meissner effect for SRF cavities. The student will design and build a flux compensation system and measure the Meissner effect under different conditions. Measurements will include the impact of thermal gradients on Meissner shielding and the thermoelectric current due to bi-metallic junctions at the joints between the cavity and the support frame. Additionally, the student will have the opportunity to learn about instrumentation for low-temperature physics and cryogenic RF testing of SRF cavities. 

Topic: Active microphonics suppression with piezo tuner for FRIB upgrade elliptical cavity
Supervisor: Dr. Shen Zhao, Dr. Wei Chang

The superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities typically operate at a very high quality factor, which means that cavity has a very narrow bandwidth. In this case, any small vibration from the environment or due to self-resonance (called microphonics) could detune the cavity quite significantly hence require large amount of power (which is very expensive in terms of equipment cost) to maintain the same field level. Using a piezo tuner to actively counteract the effect caused by the microphonic (similar to the idea of active noise cancellation headphone) can reduce the required power significantly. First the behavior of the piezo tuner will be characterized in open loop. Then a closed-loop controller will be designed. Finally the performance of the active microphonics suppression will be evaluated. In this project, the student will have the opportunity to work with electronics that drives a piezo actuator, data acquisition system that collect measurement from the sensor, and learn and apply the knowledge of control design. The student should have a basic understanding of a control system (feedback, PID control, etc.).

Design Studies for a nonrelativistic heavy ion transition radiation monitor
Supervisors: Steve Lidia, Jared DeChant

Transition radiation monitors provide a minimally interceptive means of providing diagnostic information on the temporal structure and quality of charged particle beams. Following on previous work at GSI, the student will utilize modern electromagnetic and charged particle interaction simulation tools to investigate the transition radiation generated from FRIB heavy ion beams in the 20 MeV/nucleon energy range. These studies will be used to assist in the design of a novel beam diagnostic system.

Measurement, analysis and display of beam parameters
Supervisor: Q. Zhao 

Measurement of beam parameters is an essential task in operating accelerators. At FRIB laboratory, besides the word class large heavy-ion superconducting linac, it also operates a relatively small ReAccelerator (ReA). This project will provide the student an opportunity to learn preliminary beam physics, to develop software for data acquisition, analysis, and visualization in beam parameter measurement, and to get some hands-on experience on a modern accelerator facility.

Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship program

The Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship (ASET) program curriculum consists of courses, practical training at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at MSU and at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, and thesis requirements.

The ASET program is part of MSU’s number-one-ranked nuclear physics graduate program, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of graduate schools. Additionally, each year approximately 26 percent of U.S. nuclear physics graduate students receive part of their training at MSU.

Support for several kinds of graduate fellowships in ASET is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) Office of High Energy Physics, DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics, and the National Science Foundation.