Sunday, December 16, 2007

Compact Synchrotron Is Unveiled

This is another advancement in the wakefield accelerating technique for particle accelerators. This time, using a laser plasma wakefield and an undulator, they have managed to create the same type of radiation produced at large synchrotron centers (free registration required to view article), all inside a standard-sized laboratory.

Now, Dino Jaroszynski of Strathclyde University in the UK, together with colleagues at Friedrich-Schiller-Universit├Ąt in Jena, Germany, and Stellenbosch University in South Africa are the first to have combined a laser-driven plasma wakefield accelerator with an undulator to make a compact source of synchrotron radiation.

The team’s wakefield accelerator can accelerate electrons to 1 GeV, which can create X-ray synchrotron radiation with a very narrow bandwidth. What's more, the wavelength of the radiation can be tuned from the far infrared (terahertz frequencies) to hard X-rays by simply changing the energy of the electron beam.

Such technique, such as plasma wakefield, laser-plasma wakefield, and dielectric wakefield, are show more promises of being a feasible technique for new acceleration scheme. The next few years should be very interesting, especially if the delay in the ILC might cause some people to start thinking of other accelerating structures.


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