Designing Future X-ray FELs

Wednesday 31 August - Friday 2 September, 2016  

Daresbury Laboratory, UK


The Free Electron Laser is a unique source of coherent radiation, able to operate into the hard X-ray and opening up new windows of scientific exploration.

However, X-ray FELs are still in the first stages of their development with orders of magnitude improvements still achievable before theoretical limits are reached. Many new ideas to improve FELs towards these limits are being proposed. They can be difficult to model analytically and require significant numerical modelling, often requiring the use of many different codes and High Performance Computing. This workshop will bring together those proposing the new ideas and the numerical code developers to examine the state-of-the-art and find new ways forward. Such development is critical to the design of future generations of X-ray FEL facilities.

The Workshop will be held at the UK’s Daresbury Laboratory, where the proposed CLARA FEL Test Facility will be built. This is a short journey from the historic town of Chester. With the most complete ancient city walls, the oldest racecourse, and largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, plus a 1000 year old cathedral and unique 700 year old shopping rows, it is the most visited attraction outside of London.

Q&A Session

Transcript of contemporaneous notes of question and answers made during the Workshop. Download Transcript here

Workshop Itinerary:

Agenda Day 1 – Wednesday, 31 August

Informal demonstrations & discussion of simulation codes at the Hartree Centre and presentation of posters

09:45 - 10:00 Welcome by Susan Smith, Director of STFC Daresbury Laboratory
10:00 - 10:40 Brief introductions and day planning
10:45 - 11:35 Session 1: OCELOT (BM-B) or VSim+FXFEL (Crosfield)
11:40 - 12:30 Session 2: Minerva+OPC (BM-A) or OCELOT (BM-B) or WARP (Crosfield)
12:30 - 13:30 LUNCH
13:30 - 14:20 Session 3: GPT (BM-B) or VSim+FXFEL (Crosfield)
14:25 - 15:15 Session 4: Minerva + OPC (BM-A) or FBPIC (Crosfield) or Genesis (Thomson)
15:20 - 16:10 Session 5: CHIMERA (BM-A) or GPT (BM-B) or SIMPLEX (Thomson)
16:10 - 16:30 Discussion

A –


B –


C –




1: 10:45-11:35   OCELOT VSim+FXFEL  
2: 11:40- 12:30 Minerva+OPC OCELOT WARP  
3: 13:30-14:20   GPT VSim+FXFEL  
4: 14:25-15:15 Minerva+OPC   FBPIC Genesis
5: 15:20-16:10 CHIMERA GPT   SIMPLEX

Posters will also be presented throughout the day – arrangements to be announced.


Simulation codes and software to be demonstrated include:

General Particle Tracer (GPT) Pulsar Physics (Bas van der Geer)
OCELOT: a versatile computational tool for light sources European XFEL (Sergey Tomin & Svitozar Serkez)
MINERVA FEL simulation code Uni. of Colorado (Peter van der Slot & Henry Freund)
FBPIC: A FBPIC, spectral PIC code on GPUs Uni. of Hamburg (Manuel Kirchen)
Berkeley Lab Accelerator Simulation Toolkit (BLAST) LBNL (Jean-Luc Vay)        
Chimera: Particle-in-cell simulation code SOLEIL (Igor Andriyash)                   
VSim Tech-X (Jonathan Smith)
New capabilities of Genesis SwissFEL (Sven Reiche)
SIMPLEX RIKEN SPring-8 Center (Takashi Tanaka)
FXFEL: A broad bandwidth FEL facility design suite Uni. of Strathclyde (Lawrence Campbell)

Agenda Day 2 – Thursday 1 September (Walton Rooms)

New light source ideas & potential problem areas – Chair: Brian McNeil

09:20 – 10:00 Gregory Penn (LBNL) Challenges in Simulating EEHG
10:00 – 10:20 Neil Thompson (STFC-ASTeC) Few-Cycle FELs
10:20 – 10:40 Takashi Tanaka (SPring-8) Mono-cycle harmonic generation in FELs
10:40 – 11:00 Andreas Maier (University of Hamburg/CFEL) Current experimental plans to demonstrate FEL gain from a LWPA and the need for new modelling codes
11:00 – 11:20 Dinh Nguyen (LANL) Harmonic Self-Seeding for High-photon-energy X-ray FEL
11:20 – 11:30 Discussion
11:30 – 11:50 REFRESHMENTS

Accelerator & lattice component modelling – Chair: Marie-Emmanuelle Couprie

11:50 – 12:30 Jean-Luc Vay (LBNL) The Berkeley Lab Accelerator Simulation Toolkit (BLAST)
12:30 – 12:50 Simone Di Mitri (Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste) Modelling linacs and their components
12:50 – 13:00  Discussion
13:00 – 14:00 LUNCH

Light source modelling

Session 1 – Chair: Bart Faatz

14:00 – 14:40 Gabriel Marcus (SLAC) Implementing advanced radiation optics in FEL simulations
14:40 – 15:00 Igor Andriyash (SOLEIL) Pseudo-spectral quasi-cylindrical electromagnetic particle code for three- dimensional unaveraged FEL modelling
15:00 – 15:20 Jean-Luc Vay (LBNL) Electromagnetic PIC simulations of free electron lasers and plasma accelerators in an optimal Lorentz boosted frame with the Warp framework
15:20 – 15:40 REFRESHMENTS

Session 2 – Chair: Erik Hemsing

15:40 – 16:00 Henry Freund (University of Colorado) MINERVA FEL
16:00 – 16:20 Lawrence Campbell (University of Strathclyde) Issues in Unaveraged FEL Simulations of Future Coherent FEL Schemes
16:20 – 16:40 Manuel Kirchen (University of Hamburg) Lorentz-boosted frame simulations of plasma accelerators with the spectral, FBPIC GPU-code FBPIC
16:40 – 17:00 Giuseppe Dattoli (ENEA) FEL design codes and Scaling Formulae
17:00 – 17:10 Discussion

Workshop dinner in evening

Agenda Day 3 – Friday 2 September

Facility design (start-2-end modelling)

Session 1 – Chair: Francesca Curbis

09:20 – 10:00 Eduard Prat (SwissFEL), Optimization of the soft X-ray beamline Athos at SwissFEL  with integrated chicanes
10:00 – 10:20 Gabriel Marcus (SLAC) Designing LCLS-2
10:20 – 10:40 Erik Hemsing (SLAC), EEHG facility design
10:40 – 11:00 Bas van der Geer (Pulsar Physics) Multi-objective genetic beamline design GPT
11:00 – 11:20 Andrew Colin (Strathclyde) A graphic interface for accelerator physics simulations
11:20 – 11:30 Discussion

11:30 – 11:50


Session 2 – Chair: Atoosa Meseck

11:50 – 12:30 Martin Khojoyan (SOLEIL) COXINEL: a test facility for demonstrating FEL amplification with Laser wakefield acceleration
12:30 – 12:50 Jonathan Smith (Tech-X) Driving future FELS with Novel Accelerators
12:50 – 13:10 Neil Thompson (STFC) The CLARA FEL Test Facility
13:10 – 13:20 Discussion
13:20 – 14:20 LUNCH


Discussions on general issues arising from the Workshop and towards collaborations – Chair: Brian McNeil

14:20 – 15:00   
15:00 End of Workshop



£150. The fee includes coffee, lunch, Workshop dinner and transport between the hotel and Workshop venue.

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Limited funding is avaialble for students/post-docs.
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Location: Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Workshop Chair: Brian McNeil - Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde

Scientific Programme Committee:

Robert Allan - The Hartree Centre, STFC Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Lawrence Campbell Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Marie-Emmanuelle Couprie - Synchrotron SOLEIL, France

William Fawley - Elettra Sincrotrone, Trieste, Italy & SLAC, California, USA

Henry Freund - Colorado State University, Colorado, USA

Erik Hemsing - SLAC, California, USA

Bas van der Geer - Pulsar Physics, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Gianluca Geloni - European XFEL GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

Andreas Maier - CFEL, UHH, DESY, Hamburg, Germany

Ian Martin - Diamond Light Source, Oxfordshire, UK

Greg Penn - Berkeley, California, USA

Sven Reiche - SwissFEL, PSI, Villigen, Switzerland

Jonathan Smith - Tech-X UK Ltd, Sci-Tech Daresbury, UK

Neil Thompson - STFC ASTeC, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Jean-Luc Vay - LBNL, Berkeley, California, USA

Fabio Villa - INFN-LNF, Frascati, Rome, Italy

Local Organising Committee:

Sue Waller - STFC ASTeC, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Jim Clarke - STFC ASTeC, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

David Dunning - STFC ASTeC, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Stuart Eyres - STFC ASTeC, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Damian Jones - STFC Scientific Computing, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK

Piotr Traczykowski - Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK


Science and Technology Facilities Council
Daresbury Laboratory
Sci-Tech Daresbury
Daresbury, Warrington



For further information contact the meeting administrator

Event Photographs

Photographs for the event can be found here