1. General Seminars

Plasma wakefields – a revolution in particle acceleration

by Dr Allen Christopher Caldwell (Max Planck Institut)

Aula Bruno Touschek (LNF INFN)

Aula Bruno Touschek


Via Enrico Fermi, 40 00044 Frascati
New acceleration technology is mandatory for the future of particle physics. A promising approach is to exploit the properties of plasmas. Past research has focused on creating large-amplitude plasma waves by injecting an intense laser pulse of an electron bunch into the plasma. However, the maximum energy gain of electrons accelerated in a single plasma stage is limited by the energy of the driver. Proton bunches, being much more energetic, are the most promising drivers of wakefields to accelerate electrons to the TeV energy scale. An experimental program has started at CERN, the AWAKE experiment, where proton bunches will be used for the first time ever to drive plasma wakefields. The evolution of the properties of the proton and electron bunches in the plasma will be studied using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and will be compared to detailed numerical simulations. This information will provide the basis for designing next-generation experiments.