Extending the Energy Frontier by Surfing on Plasma Waves
This event is part of the Physics Department Colloquia Series.
In order to shrink future “big science” to manageable dimensions, there has been a significant scientific thrust in exploring new very high gradient acceleration techniques. We examine the dramatic progress of this field, where the limit on acceleration rate has been extended by three orders of magnitude. We discuss the challenges associated with creating a new generation of plasma accelerators, in which we encounter the intersection of high energy density physics, femtosecond time scales, and extreme demands on beam brightness. We present near future initiatives, in which the plasma wave fields may exceed a TV/m – permitting LHC energies in a university-lab scale footprint. In such scenarios we may encounter new states of dense matter due to mutual focusing ion and electron beams. The impact of the physics issues application of these frontier methods to both high energy physics and X-ray free-electron lasers is discussed. Emerging experimental initiatives to explore frontier physics in plasma acceleration at the SLAC FACET-II laboratory are described.