Teravolt-per-meter beam and plasma fields from low-charge femtosecond electron beams

J. B. Rosenzweig, G. Andonian, P. Bucksbaum, M. Ferrario, S. Full, A. Fukusawa, E. Hemsing, B. Hidding, M. Hogan, P. Krejcik, P. Muggli, G. Marcus, A. Marinelli, P. Musumeci, B. Oshea, C. Pellegrini, D. Schiller, G. Travish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2011


  • acceleration
  • ionization
  • plasma
  • wakefields


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