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The greatest developments in particle physics have been achieved with the help of particle accelerators. To answer open questions on particles, even stronger accelerators are needed but conventional technology encounters limits. The new ‘plasma-wakefield acceleration’ technology is designed to build high performance accelerators that are more compact. As ALLEN CALDWELL explains, the basic idea is to generate a plasma wave that pushes the particles forward. As is shown in this video, energizing the plasma with a proton beam instead of a laser pulse allows to create an electric field of much longer distance.


Allen Caldwell is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Garching, Germany and spokesperson for the AWAKE project, a Proton-driven-plasma-wakefield experiment situated at CERN. Before joining the MPI, he spent 15 years at Columbia University researching proton structure and related topics and was the spokesperson for the ZEUS experiment at the electron-proton collider HERA at DESY (German Electron Synchrotron) in Hamburg, Germany.
Caldwell is also Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Munich where he teaches courses in probability, statistics and data analysis techniques.


Max Planck Society

"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." ( Source )
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Original publication

Proton-Driven Plasma-Wakefield Acceleration

Caldwell Allen, Lotov Konstantin, Pukhov Alexander and Simon Frank
Nature Physics
Published in 2009

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Path to AWAKE: Evolution of the Concept

Caldwell Allen, Adli Erik, Amorim Lígia, Apsimon Robert, Argyropoulos T., Assmann Ralph, Bachmann A.-M., Batsch F., Bauche J., Berglyd Olsen Veronica K., Bernardini Matteo, Binhgam Robert, Biskup B. et al
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Published in 2016