Scientists at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center demonstrated that a laser pulse can accelerate an electron beam and couple it to a second laser plasma accelerator, where another laser pulse accelerates the beam to higher energy—a fundamental breakthrough in advanced accelerator science.
Berkeley Lab researchers have won two grants from the DOE and NCI that focus on particle beam-based therapies for treating cancer as well as on building faster, more powerful lasers for accelerators.
Using one of the most powerful lasers in the world, Berkeley Lab researchers have accelerated subatomic particles to the highest energies ever recorded. They used an emerging class of compact particle accelerator that physicists believe can shrink traditional, miles-long accelerators to machines that can fit on a table.
Laser plasma accelerators could create powerful electron beams within a fraction of the space required by conventional accelerators and light sources – and at a fraction of the cost. But fulfilling the promise of “table-top accelerators” requires the ability to tune stable, high-quality beams through a range of energies. Berkeley Lab scientists have demonstrated a two-stage, tunable laser plasma accelerator that meets the goal.