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Nuclear and Particle Physics

AWAKE: proton bunch self-modulation and electrons acceleration in plasma

by Patric Muggli (Max Planck Institute for Physics)

2003 (Ångstrom)




Long proton bunches can drive large amplitude wakefields in plasma providing they self-modulate. Self-modulation transforms the long bunch into a train of short bunches that resonantly drive wakefields. Electrons can be externally injected into the wakefields and accelerated. With proton bunches carrying many kilojoules of energy, very high electron energies can be reached in a single plasma acceleration stage.

We will describe the principles, the physics, as well as the experimental set up of AWAKE [1]. We will show experimental results demonstrating the main characteristics of the self-modulation process [2,3], a new beam-plasma interaction mode. Experimental results also show acceleration of electrons from 20MeV to 2GeV [4]. We will briefly discuss future experiments and possible applications of the acceleration scheme to high-energy physics.


[1] P. Muggli et al., Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 60(1) 014046 (2017)

[2] M. Turner et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 054801 (2019)

[3] AWAKE Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 054802 (2019)

[4] AWAKE Collaboration, Nature 561, 363–367 (2018)