Right before Christmas, the editors of Physical Review Special Topics – Accelerators and Beams announced their annual list of outstanding PRST-AB articles from 2011. The list is based on the number of citations articles received in 2012 and the opinions of the two dozen internationally acclaimed experts in beam physics who serve on the PRST-AB editorial board.
One of the outstanding papers comes from Fermilab’s Yin-E Sun and Philippe Piot, who holds a joint appointment with Fermilab and Northern Illinois University. Together with collaborators from Argonne and NIU, they published a paper on a novel, practical method to tailor the current profile of a particle beam to follow, in principle, any desired distribution. (A year ago, the editors picked another paper that included a Fermilab author—Sergei Nagaitsev—as one of the outstanding papers.)
Sun and Piot’s idea is based on a technique pioneered and experimentally demonstrated at Fermilab several years ago: transverse-to-longitudinal phase space exchange. The authors foresee unique opportunities to generate trains of microbunches with tunable spacing and linearly ramped current profiles, which is so much desired for future wakefield accelerators. It is one of the techniques that could be tested experimentally at the proposed Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator facility at Fermilab.
Vladimir Shiltsev is the director of the Accelerator Physics Center.