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Project-Based Cooperative Learning in Accelerator Science and Technology Education

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Abstract

The next generation of particle accelerators will require the training of greater numbers of specialist accelerator physicists and engineers . These physicists and engineers should have a broad understanding of accelerator physics as well as the technology used in particle accelerators as well as a specialist in some area of accelerator science and technology . Such specialists can be trained by combining a University based PhD, in collaboration with national laboratory training with a broad taught accelerator lecture program. In order to have a faster start we decided to run an intensive two week school to replace the basic course at the Cockcroft Institute. At the same time we decided to investigate the use of problem based learning to simulate the way accelerator science tends to work in practice. In this exercise he students worked in groups of 5 to design a 3rd generation light source from scratch based on photon light specifications. In comparison to similar design exercises we stipulate that all students must do all parts and students are not allowed to specialise. A comparison with a standard lecture based education programme is discussed in this paper.