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Dr Brian McNeil




An extended model of the quantum free-electron laser
Brown M. S., Henderson J. R., Campbell L. T., McNeil B. W. J.
Optics Express Vol 25, pp. 33429-33438, (2017)
Design of sub-Angstrom compact free-electron laser source
Bonifacio Rodolfo, Fares Hesham, Ferrario Massimo, McNeil Brian W. J., Robb Gordon R. M.
Optics Communications Vol 382, pp. 58-63, (2017)
Method to generate a pulse train of few-cycle coherent radiation
Garcia Bryant, Hemsing Erik, Raubenheimer Tor, Campbell Lawrence T., McNeil Brian W. J.
Phys. Rev. Accel. Beams Vol 19, (2016)
Free-electron lasers : echoes of photons past
Campbell Lawrence T., McNeil Brian W. J.
Nature Photonics Vol 10, pp. 501-502, (2016)
Modelling elliptically polarised free electron lasers
Henderson J R, Campbell L T, Freund H P, McNeil B W J
New Journal of Physics Vol 18, (2016)
Towards plasma-driven free-electron lasers
Dornmair Irene, Campbell Lawrence T., Henderson James T., Jalas Sören , Karger Oliver, Kirchen Manuel, Knetsch Alexander, Manhan Grace G., Wittig Georg, Hidding Bernhard, McNeil Brian W. J., Maier Andreas R.
NIC Symposium 2016 ProceedingsPublication Series of the John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC) Vol 48, pp. 401-408, (2016)

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Professional activities

FEL techniques for Coherence and photon pulse manipulation
Nature Communications (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Institute of Physics (External organisation)
Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams
Member of programme committee
PhD External Examiner
External Examiner
Hesham Fares

more professional activities


Cockcroft Institute / R160525-1
Riis, Erling (Principal Investigator) Cross, Adrian (Co-investigator) Eliasson, Bengt (Co-investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Hidding, Bernhard (Co-investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) McNeil, Brian (Co-investigator) Ronald, Kevin (Co-investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2017 - 31-Mar-2018
Cockcroft Institute
Riis, Erling (Principal Investigator) Cross, Adrian (Co-investigator) Eliasson, Bengt (Co-investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Hidding, Bernhard (Co-investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) McNeil, Brian (Co-investigator) Ronald, Kevin (Co-investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2017 - 31-Mar-2018
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Habib, Ahmad Fahim
Hidding, Bernhard (Principal Investigator) McNeil, Brian (Co-investigator) Habib, Ahmad Fahim (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020
McNeil, Brian (Principal Investigator) Robb, Gordon (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2011 - 27-Jul-2015
Simulations for Future X-ray Free electron Lasers
McNeil, Brian (Principal Investigator)
"When a beam of fast, high energy electrons are injected into an undulating magnetic field (often called a 'wiggler'), they are forced to oscillate perpendicular to their direction of propagation and to emit light at the electron oscillation frequency. As this mixture of electrons and light propagates along the wiggler, the electrons begin to 'bunch' at the same wavelength as the light and act in unison to generate high brightness coherent light. When this happens it is called a Free Electron Laser (FEL). When the electrons are accelerated to speeds just below the speed of light, the electrons can emit X-ray light. This has a very short wavelength and can be used to make images of very small objects such as atoms. If the X-rays can be made into very short pulses, they can also take images of atoms without blurring - just like using the flash on a camera in a dark room. Most computer codes that simulate this FEL interaction make simplifications in the process which allows faster computation times. However, these simplifications mean that some information about the process is lost. This lost information is necessary if one wants to simulate e.g. very short light pulse generation. This proposal includes the lost information in a computer simulation code 'PUFFIN' which allows new methods to be investigated to improve the quality of the light emitted by the FEL. In addition, we will connect up PUFFIN with other simulation codes that allow the full FEL to be modelled from the start of the electron acceleration through to their exit at the end of the FEL. These 'start-to-end' simulations are important as they can allow different electron accelerators to be tested as drivers of the FEL, and can model their different characteristics. One such accelerator of current interest is the plasma accelerator which can be much smaller than current Radio-Frequency accelerators used to drive FELs. Use of plasma accelerators would significantly reduce the cost of FELs and make then more accessible to a wider group of scientists. PUFFIN is useful as it can model electron beams from plasma accelerators much better than other simulation codes. Keeping the extra information contained in the PUFFIN simulations, and linking it up with other simulation codes, results in a powerful FEL simulator that can model effects such as very short pulse generation and plasma accelerator drivers of FELs. This ability opens up many new areas for research to improve the light output from FELs. With these improvements would come the ability to investigate new areas of science that have until now been closed to us. These areas differ hugely, from observing how viruses and potential new drugs penetrate the membranes of living cells to creating conditions in the laboratory similar to those at the centre of Jupiter and Saturn. The improvements to simulating the FEL process using PUFFIN have the potential to have a real and large impact on such fundamental scientific knowledge. Furthermore, this fundamental knowledge can play a crucial role in developing new products and processes that will help economies, society and the environment."
Period 01-Feb-2015 - 31-Jan-2017
Free Electron Lasers for Industrial Applications
McNeil, Brian (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Mar-2014 - 30-Sep-2015

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