AWAKE Collaboration prepares for Run 2

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Photograph of the AWAKE beam line - copyright CERN.

The AWAKE project — the world’s first proton-driven plasma wakefield accelerator experiment — will soon end Phase 2 of its first experimental Run at the end of 2018, when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) begin their Long Shutdown 2. Success in the world’s first acceleration of electrons in a proton-driven plasma wakefield has been marked in a recent publication in Nature with several more high-impact publications underway.

The second AWAKE Collaboration meeting of the year was held at CERN from the 19th-21st September. The first day started off with planning for the upcoming final stage of Run 1 before the end of 2018, followed by a review of recent experimental results, including new developments in diagnostics and upcoming publications. The second day focussed on ongoing analysis of data from the past two years, and ended with a relaxed fondue at a classic restaurant in Geneva. The third day concluded the meeting with planning for Run 2 in 2021 when the SPS resumes delivering proton beams to AWAKE.

The meeting had a strong presence from the AWAKE-UK collaboration with several members from the University of Liverpool, including LIV.DAT student Aravinda Perera, and the Cockcroft Institute for Accelerator Science in Daresbury in attendance.

Following the great success of Run 1, the AWAKE Collaboration continues to make the most of its results, prepare not only for Run 2 but also the ultimate goal of a plasma-based TeV collider.