ISOLDE Seminar

Plasma wakefield acceleration and the AWAKE experiment at CERN

by Patric Muggli (Max Planck Institute for Physics)

ISOLDE's visitor room

Plasma wakefield acceleration has demonstrated that charged particles can be accelerated in a plasma with a much higher gradient than in conventional radio-frequency metallic structures. In this context, AWAKE studies the driving of plasma wakefields by proton bunches in a regime called the seeded self-modulation regime (SSM). The SSM process transforms the proton bunch initially long (6-12cm) when compared to the plasma wavelength (~1mm) in a train of short bunches separated by the plasma wavelength. The train can then drive wakefields to large amplitude (~1GeV/m). Currently, the goal is to externally injected low energy electrons (~15MeV) into the wakefields and to accelerate them to the GeV energy level. Later experiments will focus on accelerating a bunch electrons while maintaining low relative energy spread and low emittance.

I will introduce the concept of plasma wakefields as well as the AWAKE experiment. I will show some of the latest self-modulation results and briefly touch on challenges and possible application of the concept.

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