This chapter gives an introduction to accelerator physics, concentrating on synchrotrons. Accelerating cavities for standing and travelling radiofrequency (RF) waves, the synchronicity requirement, and the beam bunch structure are explained, as well as the energy loss due to synchrotron radiation. The beam emittance and the amplitude β function are introduced to describe the ensemble of beam trajectories. Dipole and quadrupole magnets, which act as the most important elements of so-called beam optics, are described. The LHC superconducting dipole magnets are described in some detail as an example. Colliders and fixed-target accelerators are then compared in terms of the centre-of-mass energy and the luminosity. As an important example, antiproton–proton colliders, including the use of stochastic cooling, are described and the chapter concludes with the outlook for accelerator developments in future decades.
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