National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory

Michael Syphers
Michael Syphers
Professor of Physics
Accelerator Physics
PhD, Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1987
Joined NSCL in August 2010
Phone 517-908-7608
Office 1151
syphers at

Michael Syphers

Professional Homepage

The design and development of large-scale particle accelerators, such as the system being pursued at MSU -- the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) -- and the subsequent stability of particle motion within these accelerators have been the focus of my research over the years. Before arriving at MSU in 2010, my career has involved designing, building, commissioning, operating, and experimentally studying large particle accelerators for fundamental physics research, including work on the Main Ring, Tevatron, Main Injector, and other accelerators at Fermilab; the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas (construction halted); Brookhaven National Lab’s AGS and RHIC (as a polarized proton collider); and the LHC at CERN. I also have participated in early design studies of the International Linear Collider and Muon Collider concepts.

Particle beam optics and accelerator design, nonlinear particle beam dynamics, and novel uses of beam instrumentation and diagnostics for measuring and monitoring beam and accelerator properties have been the emphasis of my work. New projects at MSU and throughout the world generate demands to the accelerator field in these regards. The wide range of particle species coupled with intense beam power and brightness demanded by modern accelerators pose new challenges to beam intensities, efficiencies, and the need for flexible systems of particle containment, focusing, and optimization.

The MSU Re-accelerator (ReA) is not only a unique system for methodically studying nuclear systems found in astrophysical environments, but it also provides opportunities for research into novel beam diagnostic systems and a test bed for the development of superconducting cavity systems and beam transport systems that can be used in FRIB and other future particle accelerators. Our research group takes advantage of the wide variety of particle beam conditions at ReA to pursue unique and varied opportunities in accelerator and beam research.

Reaching beyond NSCL, I am also engaged in studies of future hadron colliders at the 100 TeV energy scale, as well as the development of storage rings and beam lines that can be used in measurements of anomalous magnetic moments (in particular the muon system) and searches for non-zero electric dipole moments of particles, studies that are important for tests of fundamental symmetries. As a member of the Muon g-2 experiment at Fermilab and the Storage Ring EDM Collaboration, I help investigate particle beam storage and transport systems used in such experiments, involving fundamental design, CPU-intensive computational studies, as well as experimental investigations for verification. Such investigations in turn explore the full potential of accelerator facilities operating at the intensity frontiers of nuclear and high energy physics.

Syphers figure

A typical beam position monitor does not resolve individual particles. However, if the beam is intentionally offset from the ideal trajectory it will oscillate due to the focusing fields of the accelerator. An analysis of the resulting signal can give information about the nonlinear properties of the accelerator and of the energy spread of the beam.

Selected Publications

FCC-hh Hadron Collider - Parameter Scenarios and Staging Options, M. Benedikt, D. Schulte, F. Zimmermann, M.J. Syphers, Proc. 2015 Intl. Part. Accel. Conf., Richmond (2015)

Accelerator Physics of Colliders, M.J. Syphers and F. Zimmermann, in K.A. Olive et al. (Particle Data Group), Chin. Phys. C, 38, 090001 (2014)

Status of the Rare Isotope Reaccelerator Facility ReA, D. Leitner, et al., Proc. 2013 Part. Accel. Conf., Anaheim, 1458-1462 (2013)

Coil Creep and Skew-Quadrupole Field Components in the Tevatron , G.E. Annala, D.J. Harding, M.J. Syphers, Jour. Inst. 7 T03001, 1-16 (2012)

Parameterization of the Driven Betatron Oscillation, R. Miyamoto, et al., Phys. Rev. ST-AB 11, 084002 (2008)

Experimental Test of Coherent Betatron Resonance Excitations, M. Bei, et al., Phys. Rev. E56, 6002 (1997)