FAIR-GSI PhD Award 2023 goes to Dr. Simon Lauber


Dr. Simon Lauber was honored with the “FAIR-GSI PhD Award 2023” for his outstanding dissertation. Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI, and Daniel Sälzer, Managing Director of Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH, recently presented the award in a dedicated colloquium. Sponsored by Pfeiffer Vacuum, the annual award is endowed with 1000 euros. Simon Lauber's PhD thesis on “Advanced numerical and experimental beam dynamics investigations for the cw-heavy ion linac HELIAC (HElmholtz LInear ACcelerator)” was carried out at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM, ACID1 section) and the Linac department of GSI/FAIR.

The HELIAC is a novel superconducting linear accelerator built jointly by HIM and GSI/FAIR. HELIAC is intended to deliver intense continuous-wave ion beams for cutting-edge research ranging from superheavy elements to materials science for decades to come. The performance depends critically on the quality of the transition and the elaborate beam matching from the normal-conducting injector to the super-conducting part of the machine.

Within the scope of his thesis work, Simon Lauber made vital and forward-looking contributions, which are of immense importance for the realization of the entire HELIAC project. In order to provide for proper phase-space matching, the complete six-dimensional phase space needs to be explicitly known. Recently, sufficient experimental data from a novel bunch-shape measurement device have been collected to reconstruct the longitudinal beam characteristics with an algorithm newly developed by Lauber. To measure the transverse phase space to be adapted to the acceptance of the superconducting part, Lauber designed, built and commissioned a complex beam collimation system. This collimation system enabled pinpoint measurements of the HELIAC acceptance.

Together with the method for reconstructing the longitudinal phase space, this is a crucial tool for tuning and optimizing the entire HELIAC. On the basis of a complex simulation code developed by Simon Lauber, essential beam dynamics studies were performed for the construction of a high-performance interdigital H-type drift tube structure for the acceleration of heavy ions in cw mode. The alternating phase focusing (APF) structure used for this purpose allows an accelerator setup without any additional focusing lenses, and thus the design of a very compact and efficient accelerator structure.

The annual FAIR-GSI PhD Award honors an excellent PhD thesis completed during the previous year. Eligible for nominations are dissertations that were supported by GSI in the context of GSI's strategic partnerships with the universities of Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Heidelberg, Jena, and Mainz, or through the research and development program. In the framework of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research (HGS-HIRe), more than 300 PhD students currently perform research for their PhD theses on topics closely related to GSI and FAIR. GSI has a long-standing partnership with the award sponsor, Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH. Pfeiffer Vacuum is a leading global provider of vacuum solutions. In addition to turbopumps, the product portfolio includes backing pumps, leak detectors, measuring and analysis devices, vacuum components and vacuum chambers. Solutions from Pfeiffer Vacuum have been successfully used in GSI's facilities for decades. (CP)