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Title: Multi-gigaelectronvolt acceleration of positrons in a self-loaded plasma wakefield

New accelerator concepts must be developed to make future particle colliders more compact and affordable. The Plasma Wakefield Accelerator (PWFA) is one such concept, where the electric field of a plasma wake excited by a charged-particle bunch is used to accelerate a trailing bunch of particles. To apply plasma acceleration to particle colliders, it is imperative that both the electrons and their antimatter counterpart, the positrons, are efficiently accelerated at high fields using plasmas1. While substantial progress has recently been reported on high-field, high-efficiency acceleration of electrons in a PWFA powered by an electron bunch 2, such an electron-driven wake is unsuitable for the acceleration and focusing of a positron bunch. Here we demonstrate a new regime of PWFA where particles in the front of a single positron bunch transfer their energy to a substantial number of those in the rear of the same bunch by exciting a wakefield in the plasma. In the process, the accelerating field is altered – self-loaded – so that about a billion positrons gain five gigaelectronvolts (GeV) of energy with a narrow energy spread in a distance of just 1.3 meters. They extract about 30% of the wake’s energy and form a spectrally distinctmore » bunch with as low as a 1.8% r.m.s. energy spread. This demonstrated ability of positron-driven plasma wakes to efficiently accelerate a significant number of positrons with a small energy spread may overcome the long-standing challenge of positron acceleration in plasma-based accelerators.« less
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  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Univ. of Oslo, Oslo (Norway)
  3. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  4. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0028-0836
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 524; Journal Issue: 7566
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
ACCPHY; PHYS; plasma-based accelerators; nonlinear phenomena