Accelerations of Electrons in Plasma Waves achieved for the first time by Scientists


Near the French-Swiss border, close to Geneva, Switzerland, at a depth of 175 meters lies the largest particle accelerator in the world: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The particle physics lab is placed in a tunnel that has a circumference of 27 kilometers. Thanks to this machine, scientists were able to uncover the Higgs boson.

A groundbreaking experiment

After the detection of Higgs, high-energy scientists have tried to describe the properties of this particle and to find other phenomenon related to high-energy physics. Because of this, we’ve seen some fast developments in the technology that is needed for high-energy particle accelerators. Nevertheless, it is still not enough and there is an urgent necessity to make such accelerators more affordable.

At the moment, an international team of physicists that are working on the Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiment (AWAKE) at CERN have announced that they made an innovative experiment that shows a different way of accelerating electrons to high energies. This could considerably reduce the size of future particle accelerators and at the same time lower their costs. A new paper that illustrates this exciting results was published on 29th of August in the journal Nature.

Hope for the future

The team that is working on AWAKE consists of scientists and engineers from 18 different institutes, including the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Germany and CERN. According to Professor Chung, who is also part of the AWAKE collaboration, this latest achievement could allow engineers to substantially decrease the size of future particle accelerators. In this most recent study, a demonstration of the proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration has been made for the first time. Even though AWAKE is still in its early phase, this is an important step that the collaboration took towards the path of realizing new high-energy particle physics experiments.


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