U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

Laser Plasma Accelerators course

Sponsoring University:

University of Maryland


Laser Plasma Accelerators


Carl Schroeder and Eric Esarey, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Purpose and Audience
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the physics of laser-driven and plasma-based accelerators and radiation sources. The course is suitable for graduate and senior undergraduate students wishing to learn more about advanced accelerator concepts that rely on recent advances in laser technology. 

A working knowledge of electromagnetism. Some exposure to plasma physics is helpful.

This course will present the basic physics of laser-plasma and laser-beam interactions. The course will focus on laser-plasma-based accelerator concepts with emphasis on basic principles. On completion of this course, the students will have a basic understanding of laser physics, laser-plasma interactions, and laser-plasma-based accelerator concepts.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of nine lectures during morning and afternoon sessions. Problem sets will be assigned that will be completed outside of the scheduled class sessions.

Course Content
This course will review electromagnetic wave propagation, vacuum acceleration, the ponderomotive force, laser-plasma interactions, laser-driven wakefield excitation (linear and nonlinear), electron dynamics and trapping, laser guiding, and laser-plasma instabilities.

Reading Requirements
There are no required texts. The course will use introductory, review, and journal articles from the literature (to be provided by the USPAS).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance on problem sets and the final exam.