Introduction to plasma accelerators: the basics

Robert Bingham, R. Trines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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In this article, we concentrate on the basic physics of relativistic plasma wave accelerators. The generation of relativistic plasma waves by intense lasers or electron beams in low-density plasmas is important in the quest for producing ultra-high acceleration gradients for accelerators. A number of methods are being pursued vigorously to achieve ultra-high acceleration gradients using various plasma wave drivers; these include wakefield accelerators driven by photon, electron, and ion beams. We describe the basic equations and show how intense beams can generate a large-amplitude relativistic plasma wave capable of accelerating particles to high energies. We also demonstrate how these same relativistic electron waves can accelerate photons in plasmas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 CAS-CERN Accelerator School
Subtitle of host publicationPlasma Wake Acceleration
EditorsBernhard Holzer
Place of PublicationGeneva, Switzerland
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventCAS-CERN Accelerator School: Plasma Wake Acceleration - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 23 Nov 201429 Nov 2014


ConferenceCAS-CERN Accelerator School: Plasma Wake Acceleration


  • nonlinear theory
  • accelerators
  • photon acceleration
  • laser
  • wakefields


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