Jonathan S. Wurtele

Plasma and Particle Beam Theory

Research Interests

My research interests are in beam and plasma physics, trapping and measuring the spectral and gravitational properties of antihydrogen, free electron lasers, and climate change.

Current Projects

Neutral antimatter physics:
I am a member of the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) collaboration, whose goal is to conduct fundamental studies of matter-antimatter asymmetry. Our experiment used antiprotons from the Antiproton Decelerator at CERN.  Until our recent successes with the current ALPHA apparatus, no group had ever trapped neutral antimatter. We have (as of 2011) synthesized and trapped hundreds of antiatoms, with confinement time of anti-atoms from 0.17s to 1000s. We are currently rebuilding our apparatus; the new apparatus should be commissioned in 2014.  Students and postdocs in my group focus on the beam and plasma theory and simulation related to the trapping and synthesizing of antihydrogen. Examples of this work are the development of a Vlasov simulation to model the mixing of antiprotons and positrons and analyzing frictional cooling as a method to increase antiproton flux. More recently, we have been studying the dynamics of, and envisioning new experiments with, antihydrogen. 

Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study: The goal of our study is to provide a new, independent, open estimate of the surface temperature changes during the instrumental record. The study, which has, to date, included land stations only, aims to incorporate as much of the available data as possible, to provide all the raw and quality controlled data online, along with the codes used to generate the analysis, and to provide a temperature analysis along with an error estimate. In the near future we will integrate ocean data to obtain a global temperature record.

Next Generation Light Source (NGLS): LBNL is working on a new light source to replace its ALS soft X-ray storage ring. The NGLS as currently conceived will be, roughly, a 2.5 GeV superconducting linac driving a suite of ten (initially, three) free electron lasers. My work focuses on understanding how parameter choices impact machine performance, studying novel FEL configurations, and considering how machine design relates to the scientific requirements of the users.

Selected Publications

J. S. Wurtele, “Advanced accelerator concepts,” Physics Today (1994).
V.M. Malkin, N.J. Fisch, and J.S. Wurtele.  “Compression of powerful x-ray pulses to attosecond durations by stimulated Raman backscattering in plasmas.,” Phys. Rev. E 75, 026404 (2007).

O. Naaman, J. Aumentado, L. Friedland, J. S. Wurtele, and I. Siddiqi. “Phase-locking transition in a chirped superconducting Josephson resonator,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 10, 11 (2008).

G. B. Andresen, et al. [ALPHA COLLABORATION] “Evaporative Cooling of Antiprotons to Cryogenic Temperatures,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 013003 (2010).
G. B. Andresen, et al., [ALPHA COLLABORATION]. “Trapped Antihydrogen,” Nature, 09610 (2010).

E. Kur, D J Dunning, B. W. J. McNeil, J. S. Wurtele and A. A. Zholents, “A wide bandwidth free-electron laser with mode locking using current modulation,” New J. Phys. 13 063012 (2011).

G. B. Andresen, et al., [ALPHA COLLABORATION]. “Confinement Of Antihydrogen For 1,000 Seconds,” Nature Physics 7, 558 (2011). doi:10.1038/nphys2025

G.B. Andresen, et al., [ALPHA COLLABORATION]. “Centrifugal Separation And Equilibration Dynamics In An Electron-Antiproton,” Plasma. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 145001 (2011). 

G.B. Andresen, et al., [ALPHA COLLABORATION]. “Autoresonant Excitation of Antiproton Plasmas.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 025002 (2011).

R. Rhode, et al. [Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study]. Station data, technical reports and code available online at (2011/2012).