U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Plasma Accelerators, Lenses and Light Sources course

Sponsoring University:

Stanford University


Plasma Accelerators, Lenses and Light Sources


John Dawson, Chan Joshi, Thomas Katsouleas and Warren Mori, UCLA

The course will study electromagnetic and longitudinal waves in a plasma. Subjects treated: the coupling of electromagnetic waves to longitudinal waves through nonlinear effects; limiting amplitudes and peak electric fields; the use of laser beam waves to generate longitudinal waves with phase velocities close to the speed of light; very intense electric fields (E ~ (n)^1/2 volts per cm, n is in electrons per cm^3); ways to generate longitudinal plasma waves with phase velocities close to c (laser wake field and forward Raman instability); and the use of a shaped electron bunch from a linear accelerator as the driver for the longitudinal plasma waves. The acceleration of particles by longitudinal waves, the limiting attainable energies and the particle focusing properties of these waves will be covered. Questions of the theoretically attainable beam quality and methods for obtaining it will be considered. The use of plasmas as lenses of unmatched focusing strength for charged particle bunches will also be covered. Results from recent experiments will be presented. Other topics to be discussed: (1) properties of plasma accelerators for producing particle beams and potential applications; and (2) the use of plasma waves to manipulate light beams, in particular the use of plasma waves to upshift the frequency of light, to produce chirped pulses of light, to produce a series of femtosec pulses of light coming every picosec and the possibility of each pulse having a different frequency. Prerequisites: some knowledge of basic plasma physics and beam acceleration.