Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Accelerator physics

Surf's up at SLAC

A 'plasma afterburner' just 30 centimetres long accelerates electrons hundreds of times faster than giant conventional accelerators. The result may ultimately open up a low-cost technology for particle colliders. See Letter p.92

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Ramping up the energy.

SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab



  2. Litos, M. et al. Nature 515, 92–95 (2014).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Hogan, M. J. et al. New J. Phys. 12, 055030 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Lee, S. et al. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 5, 011001 (2002).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Blumenfeld, I. et al. Nature 445, 741–744 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Tzoufras, M. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 145002 (2008).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Wang, X. et al. Nature Commun. 4, 1988; (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Caldwell, A., Lotov, K., Pukhov, A. & Simon, F. Nature Phys. 5, 363–367 (2009).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Schroeder, C. B., Esarey, E. & Leemans, W. P. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 15, 051301 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Lebedev, V. & Nagaitsev, S. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 16, 108001 (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Schroeder, C. B., Esarey, E. & Leemans, W. P. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 16, 108002 (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mike Downer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Downer, M., Zgadzaj, R. Surf's up at SLAC. Nature 515, 40–41 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing