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Proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration : a path to the future of high-energy particle physics

Assmann, R and Bingham, R and Bohl, T and Bracco, C and Buttenschön, B and Butterworth, A and Caldwell, A and Chattopadhyay, S and Cipiccia, S and Feldbaumer, E and Fonseca, R A and Goddard, B and Gross, M and Grulke, O and Gschwendtner, E and Holloway, J and Huang, C and Jaroszynski, D and Jolly, S and Kempkes, P and Lopes, N and Lotov, K and Machacek, J and Mandry, S R and Meddahi, M and Militsyn, B L and Moschuering, N and Muggli, P and Najmudin, Z and Noakes, T C Q and Norreys, P A and Öz, E and Pardons, A and Petrenko, A and Pukhov, A and Rieger, K and Reimann, O and Ruhl, H and Shaposhnikova, E and Silva, L O and Sosedkin, A and Tarkeshian, R and Trines, R M G N and Tückmantel, T and Vieira, J and Vincke, H and Wing, M and Xia, G (2014) Proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration : a path to the future of high-energy particle physics. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 56 (8). ISSN 0741-3335

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New acceleration technology is mandatory for the future elucidation of fundamental particles and their interactions. 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 or 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 are the most promising drivers of wakefields to accelerate electrons to the TeV energy scale in a single stage. An experimental program at CERN—the AWAKE experiment—has been launched to study in detail the important physical processes and to demonstrate the power of proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration. Here we review the physical principles and some experimental considerations for a future proton-driven plasma wakefield accelerator.