QUASAR Group hosts major event on plasma accelerators

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Scientists from across Europe came to Liverpool last week to discuss the future of plasma accelerators, advanced laser technology, and industry opportunities alongside a discussion of research progress made within the EuPRAXIA Design Study, supported by the European Union within the Horizon2020 Framework Programme. 

The EuPRAXIA collaboration is designing a new plasma accelerator-based research infrastructure that can provide a 5 GeV electron beam with industry beam quality. The QUASAR Group is contributing to R&D in the beam diagnostics work package and leads project communication with the coordinating institution, DESY in Germany. It was a great pleasure to host the EuPRAXIA Collaboration Week on 4-5 July and the ‘Quantum Leap Towards the Next Generation of Particle Accelerators’ Symposium as a special showcase event at the Liverpool ACC on 6th July 2018.

Dr Ceri Brenner shared her experiences of working with the world’s most powerful lasers in her talk Dream Beams.

Professor Welsch, QUASAR Group leader and Head of the Liverpool Physics Department, said: "Plasma accelerators show great promise for reducing the size, cost and complexity of accelerator-based research infrastructures. Within EuPRAXIA we study a whole range of innovative applications, from materials testing to the generation of shorted light pulses." 

He was very enthusiastic about the outcomes from both events: "The collaboration week allowed a critical assessment of the research progress made across all of EuPRAXIA's scientific work packages. It was great to see that we are well on track for the publication of a conceptual design report next year. On the other hand, the Symposium was ideal to present the aims and opportunities of EuPRAXIA to a much wider audience." 

Students at the EuPRAXIA Symposium taking part in hands-on activities.

The Symposium featured talks from research leaders about the science and technology of plasma accelerators and all are now available via the EuPRAXIA website. The event also included an industry exhibition highlighting the latest technologies and market-ready products. A poster session showcased the results from EuPRAXIA R&D to date. The event also featured specific sessions for several hundreds of students from local secondary schools and universities to find out about the ground-breaking accelerator science taking place within EuPRAXIA. 

Industry exhibition at the Symposium.

Professor Welsch added: "We also offered a who range of interactive demonstrations which helped explain a number of fundamental concepts in accelerator science.  This included marshmallow waves, Gauss rifles and the Surfatron – a game designed to demonstrate the concept of plasma wakefield acceleration. A huge "thank you!" to all QUASARs who contributed and helped in the events - in particular our project team!"