QUASAR ideas for AWAKE

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Dr. Ralph Fiorito, Senior Marie Curie Research Fellow in the Quasar Group attended the Physics and Engineering Board Meeting for the CERN AWAKE project on August 20, 2015. He was invited to give a talk about “Advanced Optical Diagnostics and Simulation Studies for Application to AWAKE” by Dr. Patric Muggli, the AWAKE scientific project leader.

Ralph talked about advanced beam diagnostic methods which could be applied to AWAKE in particular with respect to the injected electron beam. He also discussed techniques and diagnostics that could be applied to both the proton and electron beams after interaction with the plasma cell and described the necessary simulation studies that would be needed to fully exploit the potential of the experiment. The ideas he presented shall form part of a wider UK contribution to AWAKE and are currently being reviewed by STFC as part of an AWAKE-UK grant application submitted earlier in 2015.

AWAKE is a new experiment being developed by an international collaboration at CERN to test a novel plasma accelerator concept, in which a proton beam traveling through a plasma undergoes microbunching instabilities and thereby produces electromagnetic wakes. A low energy short (2ps) electron beam is injected into these wakes and can theoretically be accelerated to GeV energies in a short distance (cm’s) within the plasma.  A proof of principle experiment is being planned at CERN using their 400 GeV SPSS proton accelerator and a low energy (14 MeV) electron beam injector.