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Accelerator Physics in an Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) at CESR

Although the emittances of an electron beam can be smaller in a linear accelerator than in a ring-based synchrotron radiation source, the beam power in a ring accelerator can be much larger since the high energy electrons create a large current when they are used over and over again for multiple revolutions. In order to create comparable beam powers in a linear accelerator, exorbitant electrical energy would be required, which would be consumed and dumped at the end of the accelerator.

Energy Recovery Linacs (ERLs) might resolve this dilemma between emittance and beam power. They recover energy of the spent electron beam in superconducting cavities and use it to accelerate subsequent electron bunches. Cornell plans to build a prototype facility that tests several critical accelerator physics issues before a large scale x-ray facility based on an ERL can be proposed. After successful tests, an ERL addition to the CESR accelerator at Cornell University should create an exceptional X-ray facility.

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