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Acceleration of a trailing positron bunch in a plasma wakefield accelerator

Abstract : High gradients of energy gain and high energy efficiency are necessary parameters for compact, cost-efficient and high-energy particle colliders. Plasma Wakefield Accelerators (PWFA) offer both, making them attractive candidates for next-generation colliders. In these devices, a charge-density plasma wave is excited by an ultra-relativistic bunch of charged particles (the drive bunch). The energy in the wave can be extracted by a second bunch (the trailing bunch), as this bunch propagates in the wake of the drive bunch. While a trailing electron bunch was accelerated in a plasma with more than a gigaelectronvolt of energy gain, accelerating a trailing positron bunch in a plasma is much more challenging as the plasma response can be asymmetric for positrons and electrons. We report the demonstration of the energy gain by a distinct trailing positron bunch in a plasma wakefield accelerator, spanning nonlinear to quasi-linear regimes, and unveil the beam loading process underlying the accelerator energy efficiency. A positron bunch is used to drive the plasma wake in the experiment, though the quasi-linear wake structure could as easily be formed by an electron bunch or a laser driver. The results thus mark the first acceleration of a distinct positron bunch in plasma-based particle accelerators.
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Contributor : Sébastien Corde <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 27, 2017 - 2:00:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 11:08:02 AM

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A. Doche, C. Beekman, Sébastien Corde, J. Allen, C. Clarke, et al.. Acceleration of a trailing positron bunch in a plasma wakefield accelerator. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (14180), ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-14524-4⟩. ⟨hal-01625287⟩

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