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The CERN Accelerator School, a school like no other

Registration is open for the 2023 CERN Accelerator Schools, taking place in Austria, Germany and Spain – surely one is the right fit for you!


CERN Accelerator School (CAS)’s
The latest Advanced Course on Accelerator Physics, which took place in Sévrier (France) last November. (Image: CERN)

The CERN Accelerator School (CAS) is organising three courses this year – don’t miss your chance to attend! Two topical schools will take place: one on radiofrequency for accelerators in June in Germany, and one on magnets in November in Austria. “The topical courses are fundamental because they cover major topics in depth, with state-of-the-art presentations and hands-on courses,” says Frank Tecker, CAS director.

An introductory course will also take place in Spain in September: "We offer the introductory course regularly; it allows students to acquire a broad knowledge of accelerator physics and technology in a short time. The students’ feedback shows that this course is highly appreciated and relevant,” continues Frank. 

Last year, after a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAS successfully managed to run four schools in three different countries. “We are thrilled to be back in-person. The networking opportunities during the schools are essential and can’t be transposed online,” says Christine Vollinger, deputy CAS director. “Indeed, although many participants are from CERN, more than half of them come from institutes and companies worldwide (26 nationalities were represented at the last school!), and they’re all eager to learn and to share their experience with the other participants and lecturers.”

A school like no other
Advanced and topical schools are challenging to organise. To give an example, the Advanced Course on Accelerator Physics in November 2022 required more than two tonnes of equipment to be shipped from different locations (CERN, GSI, DESY and a private company) to a hotel in Sévrier (France). Piotr Kowina (GSI), one of the most experienced CAS teachers in radiofrequency, started installing the equipment three days before the course began. The hotel was transformed into a lab: you could hear the vector network analyser humming and the spectrum analyser beeping, and see traces in all colours across the many screens. “The hands-on experiments have been designed especially for this course and we are constantly thinking about how to improve them,” says Piotr.

CERN established the CERN Accelerator School (CAS) in 1983 with the mandate of “assembling and disseminating knowledge on accelerator science”, and the school has indeed played a central role since in the knowledge transfer of accelerator physics and associated technologies. The school will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023: “This year’s anniversary is an opportunity for us to retrace CAS history and values, and to acknowledge the impact of such a unique school,” says Frank Tecker.

The very first CAS organised at CERN was focused on “Antiprotons for colliding beam facilities”, a topic chosen because there were very few experts in the domain. “Safeguarding and disseminating their knowledge was all the more critical,” says Frank. Forty years on, CAS continues to pass on this knowledge by curating its proceedings* and building a community of engineers and physicists specialised in accelerator technologies.

Do you want to be part of that community? Registration for the 2023 schools is now open! Go to https://cas.web.cern.ch/ for more information and to register. The CAS community is looking forward to welcoming its new students.

* CAS proceedings are publicly available at: https://cas.web.cern.ch/previous-schools