AWAKE will be the first proton driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment worldwide. The facility is located in the former CNGS area at CERN and will include three different beam lines merging in a 10 m long plasma cell, which is followed by the experimental diagnostics. The physics program of AWAKE consists currently of two phases. In the first phase, starting end of this year, the effect of the plasma on a high energy proton beam will be studied. A proton bunch is expected to experience the so called self-modulation instability, which leads to the creation of micro-bunches within the long proton bunch. The plasma channel is created in a rubidium vapor via field ionization by a TW laser pulse. This laser beam has to be synchronised with the proton beam at the order of a few ps and spatially overlap over the full length of the plasma cell, resulting in tight requirements for the stability of the proton beam at the plasma cell in the order of ˜100 micro m.
In the second phase (starting in 2017) the wakefield, which is driven by the self-modulated proton bunch, will be probed by an externally injected 10 - 20 MeV/c electron beam.
Recently, the commissioning of the laser and proton beam line has been accomplished. The experimental diagnostics have been tested, so that the AWAKE beam lines are ready for the start of phase 1 of the experiment. In the coming weeks, also the final step - the commissioning of the plasma cell - will be performed, followed by the first physics run of AWAKE.
In this talk the beam commissioning results of the ~810 m long transfer line for proton bunches with 3E11 protons/bunch and a momentum of 400 GeV/c will be presented with a focus on the challenges of the parallel commissioning and operation of the laser and proton beam.
ATS Seminars Organisers: H. Burkhardt (BE), M. Modena (TE), T. Stora (EN)
Coffee / tea will be served after the seminar in room 30/7-012 next to the Auditorium