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European laser electron controlled acceleration in plasmas to GeV energy range

European laser electron controlled acceleration in plasmas to GeV energy range

Objective

Physics at the energy frontier requires huge particle accelerators. The need to reduce the size and cost of these infrastructures has triggered novel ideas. Using a plasma as a transformer of laser energy, capable of creating accelerating fields 3 to 4 orders of magnitude above those currently available with conventional technology, is a new concept with the potential to revolutionise accelerators. Though ultra-high accelerating gradients and electron beams in the 100 MeV energy range have been demonstrated, the length of the plasma, typically 1 mm, limits the final energy.

The core of this project is the achievement of a laser-plasma accelerator to test the issues related to the control of the properties of an electron beam accelerated to the GeV energy range by a plasma wave, combining cutting edge scientific and technological developments in ultra fast science.

This prototype is a crucial step to determine the feasibility of staging in plasma based accelerators, and thus to dramatically increase the final energy. Short pulse (10 to 500 femtoseconds) electron beams, produced by laser injectors in a plasma or RF photo-injectors, will be accelerated by a linear plasma wave created over a few centimetres.

The goal is to produce electron beams in the GeV energy range, with an energy spread close to 1%, in a reproducible way over a distance less than 10 cm.

This prototype development is a high risk/high impact project: injector developments at the limit of RF or laser technology, associated to innovative schemes to synchronise the electron bunch with the phase of the plasma wave, constitute a technological leap for plasma accelerators.

The production of extremely short electron bunches, of the order of 10 fs duration, will open new fields of research and applications.

The success of this project will point the way to the development of advanced plasma accelerators, and place Europe at the vanguard of this technology.

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Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE

Address

3 Rue Michel Ange
Paris

France

Administrative Contact

Brigitte CROS (Dr)

Participants (8)

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UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE

Netherlands

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

United Kingdom

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

INSTITUTO SUPERIOR TECNICO

Portugal

THE COUNCIL FOR THE CENTRAL LABORATORY OF THE RESEARCH COUNCILS

United Kingdom

LUNDS UNIVERSITET

Sweden

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 28514

  • Start date

    1 September 2006

  • End date

    31 August 2009

Funded under:

FP6-POLICIES

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 205 035

  • EU contribution

    € 2 000 000

Coordinated by:

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE

France