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Accelerator Physicist (BE-ABP-HSL-2020-134-LD)

CERN has a vacancy for an Accelerator Physicist

  • Closing date: 10 Dec 2020
  • Switzerland | CERN
  • Date posted: 17 Nov 2020
  • Job type: Research facilities
  • Disciplines: Accelerators, neutron & light sources  | Plasma science & technology 

Company description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter – fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job description

Are you an Accelerator Physicist or Engineer with experience in particle source and hadron linac beam dynamics combining academic excellence and technical coordination skills? Are you interested in taking an active role in the development of high brightness H-ion sources and transport lines? Join a dynamic team of applied physicists and have an impact in the performance of the newly commissioned linac, guide its upgrade and design the next generation of future machines. Work at the heart of beam physics and operation at the largest particle physics laboratory in the world: CERN. Take part!

You will join:

  • The Accelerators and Beam Physics (ABP) group, part of the Beams department (BE), is in charge of beam performance over the complete CERN accelerator chain, from the source to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The Group carries out Research & Development (R&D) activities on the upgrade of the LHC and its injectors, on the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC), and Future Circular Colliders study (FCC) as well as on novel acceleration techniques (AWAKE).
  • The Hadron Sources and Linacs (HSL) Section is responsible for the production of primary particles for the CERN Accelerator Complex including the operation and development of sources for high charge heavy ions and a negative hydrogen source for LINAC4.
  • The performance of sources and linacs depends heavily on the control of the beam formation and on the design of the extraction and low energy transport system to preserve the emittance and mitigate the effects of direct space charge and transient phenomena like neutralisation. The theoretical and computational studies as well as the experimentation at a dedicated test stand are key activities of the section.


As Accelerator Physicist you will study plasma generation, beam formation, beam extraction and beam transport for a high brightness H-beam, you will participate in the development of a high current source compatible with LINAC4 and you will be part of the team responsible for the operation of the LINAC4 source.

In particular, you will:

  • Perform studies on beam formation, extraction and low energy beam transport.
    Guide and perform measurements at the H- source test stand with the aim of improving source intensity, emittance, stability and pulse shape.
  • Design, construct and test ion beam extraction and low energy beam lines to optimise matching to the LINAC4 pre-injector (Radio Frequency Quadrupole – RFQ) and contribute to the study of a new RFQ.
  • Participate to the operation and performance follow-up of the LINAC4 source, including serving as on-call expert.


Master’s degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of physics, engineering or a related field.

The experience required for this position is:

  • Demonstrated experience of work in the design and/or operation of particle sources for accelerators, or a similar scientific field.
  • Practical experience with particle sources or other similar scientific equipment, including the use of different materials for equipment design, and handling of equipment for use in vacuum.
  • Experience with multi-particle simulation codes for specific low energy effects like neutralisation, space charge and H-stripping.
  • Experience of experimental techniques (e.g. emittance and profile measurements) and analysis of data from beam measurements.

The following experience would be considered an asset:

  • Experience in accelerator physics with demonstrated ability to compute multi-particle dynamics in 3D field maps.
  • Experience with multi-particle simulation codes for linacs and transfer lines.
  • Experience of source operation and linac commissioning.
  • Experience with one or more of the following codes: iBSIMU, PATH, RF-TRACK, TRACEWIN, PARMILA, PARMTEQ.
  • Experience in plasma physics.

Technical competencies

  • Simulation, design and development of beam sources.
  • Knowledge and application of beam production techniques.
  • Simulation, design and development of (part of) particle accelerators.
  • Analysis and optimization of accelerator performance.

Behavioural competencies

  • Working in teams: Building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships.
  • Working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Managing self: Taking initiative beyond regular tasks and making things happen. Working well autonomously; taking on activities and tasks without prompting.
  • Communicating effectively: Demonstrating a pro-active approach to resolving differences; addressing issues of conflict constructively. Expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point.
  • Achieving results: Having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.

Language skills

Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in at least one of the two languages.

Additional information

Eligibility and closing date
Diversity has been an integral part of CERN’s mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 10 December 2020.

Employment conditions
Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Work in radiation areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6–7
Job reference: BE-ABP-HSL-2020-134-LD
Benchmark job title: Applied Physicist


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