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 Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication
16.07.2018 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>