Article abstract

Nature Physics 5, 363 - 367 (2009)
Published online: 12 April 2009 | Corrected online: 24 April 2009 | doi:10.1038/nphys1248

Subject Category: Plasma physics

Proton-driven plasma-wakefield acceleration

Allen Caldwell1, Konstantin Lotov2,3, Alexander Pukhov4 & Frank Simon1,5

Plasmas excited by laser beams or bunches of relativistic electrons have been used to produce electric fields of 10–100 GV m-1. This has opened up the possibility of building compact particle accelerators at the gigaelectronvolt scale. However, it is not obvious how to scale these approaches to the energy frontier of particle physics—the teraelectronvolt regime. Here, we introduce the possibility of proton-bunch-driven plasma-wakefield acceleration, and demonstrate through numerical simulations that this energy regime could be reached in a single accelerating stage.

  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Physik, 80805 München, Germany
  2. Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
  3. Novosibirsk State University, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
  4. Institut für Theoretische Physik I, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
  5. Excellence Cluster 'Origin and Structure of the Universe', 85748 Garching, Germany

Correspondence to: Allen Caldwell1 e-mail:

* In the version of this article originally published online, in the first equation of the section 'Initial considerations', the denominator was mistakenly not included within the square-root sign. This has been corrected in all versions of the article.


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