Record Details

Relativity and Accelerator Engineering
EuXFEL staff, Other
Author group:
Simulation of Photon Fields
Scientific area:
From a geometrical viewpoint, according to the theory of relativity, space and time constitute a four-dimensional continuum with pseudo-Euclidean structure. This has recently begun to be a practically important statement in accelerator physics. An X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) is in fact the best, exciting example of an engineering system where improvements in accelerator technology makes it possible to develop ultrarelativistic macroscopic objects with an internal fine structure, and the theory of relativity plays an essential role in their description. An ultrarelativistic electron bunch modulated at nanometer-scale in XFELs has indeed a macroscopic finite-size of order of 10 $\mu$m. Its internal, collective structure is characterized in terms of a wave number vector. Here we will show that a four-dimensional geometrical approach, unusual in accelerator physics, is needed to solve problems involving the emission of radiation from an ultrarelativistic modulated electron beam accelerating along a curved trajectory. We will see that relativistic kinematics enters XFEL physics in a most fundamental way through the so-called Wigner rotation of the modulation wave number vector, which is closely associated to the relativity of simultaneity. If not taken into account, relativistic kinematics effects would lead to a strong qualitative disagreement between theory and experiments. In this paper, several examples of relativistic kinematics effects, which are important for current and future XFEL operation, are studied. The theory of relativity is applied by providing details of the clock synchronization procedure within the laboratory frame. This approach, exploited here but unusual in literature, is rather "practical", and should be acceptable to accelerator physicists.
Related external records:
Report number:
DESY 17-143
Report type:
DESY Red Report


 Record created 2017-12-21, last modified 2019-01-30

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