Recent initiatives in ultra-short, GeV electron beam generation have been aimed at achieving sub-femtosecond (fs) pulses capable of driving X-ray free-electron lasers (FELs) in single-spike mode. This scheme foresees the use of very low charge beams, which may allow existing FEL injectors to produce few-100 as pulses, with very high brightness. Towards this end, recent experiments at SLAC have produced ∼2 fs rms, low transverse emittance, 20 pC electron pulses. Here we examine the use of such pulses to excite plasma wakefields exceeding 1 TV/m, permitting a table-top TeV accelerator. We present a scheme for focusing the beam to very small dimensions, where the surface Coulomb fields are also at the TV/m level. These conditions access a new regime for high field for atomic physics, allowing frontier atomic physics experiments such as barrier suppression regime ionization. They also, critically, permit well-sub-fs plasma formation for subsequent wake excitation. We examine the use of such ultra-short beams for creating coherent sub-cycle IR radiation at unprecedented high power levels.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Oct 2011|