Academic Training Lecture Regular Programme

Acceleration of particles in plasmas (1/5)

by Faure, J. (Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, F.)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium


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The accelerating fields in radio-frequency accelerators are limited to roughly 100 MV/m due to material breakdown which occurs on the walls of the structure. In contrast, a plasma, being already ionized, can support electric fields in excess of 100 GV/m. Such high accelerating gradients hold the promise of compact particle accelerators. Plasma acceleration has been an emerging and fast growing field of research in the past two decades. In this series of lectures, we will review the principles of plasma acceleration. We will see how relativistic plasma waves can be excited using an ultra-intense laser or using a particle beam. We will see how these plasma waves can be used to accelerate electrons to high energy in short distances. Throughout the lectures, we will also review recent experimental results. Current laser-plasma experiments throughout the world have shown that monoenergetic electron beams from 100 MeV to 1 GeV can be obtained in distances ranging from the millimetre to the centimetre. Experiments at SLAC (Stanford) have witnessed energy gains of tens of GeV in a distance of a metre.
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