Multi-GeV electron acceleration in an optically controlled plasma guide
|Cédric THAURY (QUB, UK)||13 June – 8 July 2022|
The objective of the experiment is to accelerate electrons to multi-GeV energies, in an optically controlled plasma wave-guide created from a light gas. Today, one of the main challenges for the scientific community working on laser-plasma aceeleration of electrons is to increase the length of the laser-plasma interaction in order to maximize the energy transfer from the laser to the electrons, and thus increase the energy of the accelerated beam. In most laser-plasma accelerators, the acceleration length is limited by laser diffraction to the Rayleigh length or can be increased to a few-Rayleigh lengths through the process of plasma self-focusing. The key idea of this project is to create a plasma channel, with a first low intensity pulse, that acts as an optical fiber to propagate the beam with relativistic intensities over distances of several centimeters. This will enable to significantly increase the accepelration length. Coupled with a controlled injection technique, this plasma wave guide will allow obtaining high quality electron beams with energies of several GeV and up to 10 GeV. Such achievements would pave the way to further scientific experiments requiring high energy electron beams, such as the study of regimes where the quantum electrodynamics (QED) mechanims become significant, for instance with the collision of a relativistic electron beam with an ultra intense laser beam.
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