Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protons make waves – AWAKE project reaches important milestone

19.12.2016

Success reported from the AWAKE project: Researchers have succeeded for the first time in generating a wave-shaped plasma field with the aid of a proton beam – an approach which paves the way for a completely new type of particle accelerator. In the future, the scientists involved plan to accelerate electrons on a plasma wave. In the long term, this technology could form the basis for new accelerators.

It is already possible to foresee that the information from existing accelerator experiments is limited. Many unresolved questions regarding the structure of matter or the origin of the universe can only be answered if particles collide at even higher energies.


Electrons surfing a wave: A proton beam (boat) generates waves in a plasma. Surfers (electrons) can ride these waves and gain energy in the process.

OSIRIS/IST, Portugal

The current record holder is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – with a circumference of 27 kilometers it accelerates protons to an energy of up to 13 teraelectronvolts. The record for electrons is around 100 gigaelectronvolts.

In order to reach even higher energies, particularly for electrons, larger installations would have to be built. A smaller, more economical alternative is offered by a completely new concept: This is based on the observation that a plasma, a mixture of charged particles, can establish and maintain strong electric fields.

Objective: To accelerate electrons on a plasma wave

This is what the AWAKE project will take advantage of. “In simple terms, a proton beam generates waves in the plasma – similar to the wake of a speedboat in water,” explains Allen Caldwell, AWAKE spokesperson and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics. “If electrons are added, they are accelerated in the oscillating plasma field.”

Although the principle is not new, it has thus far been possible to achieve these plasma modulations only with the aid of lasers or electrons. “With AWAKE, we have shown for the first time that we can also achieve this effect with protons,” says Caldwell. The advantage of protons: Bundles of protons transport significantly more energy. This means that electrons accelerate over a longer distance and gain energy in the process.

AWAKE uses earlier CERN experiment

“By this means, we have heralded a new era for the development of innovative accelerator technologies,” says Caldwell with confidence. The AWAKE experiment has been set up at the CERN nuclear research center, where a proton beam from an earlier experiment can be used. The current experiment is the result of three years of intense development work. The plasma cell had already been installed at the beginning of this year.

The plan for 2017 is to investigate the interaction between proton beam and plasma field in more detail. The AWAKE research collaboration then plans initial experiments to accelerate electrons on the plasma wave. By the end of 2018, the next longer stop of the LHC, acceleration fields in the range of one gigaelectronvolt per meter, are to be generated.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.mpp.mpg.de/en/what-s-new/news/detail/protonen-schlagen-wellen-awake-...

Barbara Wankerl | Max-Planck-Institut für Physik

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire

nachricht NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>