Figure 1: Ramping up the energy. | Nature

Figure 1: Ramping up the energy.

From: Surf's up at SLAC

Figure 1

SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab

SLAC's main accelerator, shown in aerial view, accelerates electron bunches from 0 to 20 GeV energy over 2 km, which amounts to adding 0.01 GeV to each electron every metre. The new Facility for Accelerator Science and Experimental Tests (FACET) used by Litos et al.2 then splits each 20-GeV bunch into two independently controlled tandem bunches. The leading bunch creates a new micro-accelerator inside a 30-cm chamber (top), in which it drives a charge-density wave in ionized gas, much as a boat drives a wake in water. The trailing bunch rides the lead bunch's wake and, when optimally positioned, extracts up to 30% of its energy, boosting each electron's energy by 1.6 GeV in only 30 cm.

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