If one particle accelerator alone is not enough to achieve the desired result, why not combine two accelerators? That's what physicists at the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) thought in collaboration with colleagues at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée, Paris, DESY in Hamburg and the University of Strathclyde. They have combined two plasma-based acceleration methods for electrons, namely a laser-driven wakefield accelerator (LWFA) with a particle-beam-driven wakefield accelerator (PWFA). With this combination, they achieve better stability and higher particle density for electron beams than with just a single plasma accelerator. The tech marriage therefore opens up new perspectives for plasma-based particle acceleration.
Illustration: Artist's impression of wakefields in a two-stage plasma accelerator.
Picture: Moritz Foerster
Original publication: Foerster et al.
Stable and High-Quality Electron Beams from Staged Laser and Plasma Wakefield Accelerators.
Phys. Rev. X 12, 041016 (2022)