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Plasma wakefield acceleration. Why is plasma the perfect transformer?

  1. Oct 15, 2013 #1
    Hi all, I recently read the wiki article on Plasma wakefield acceleration and it states that plasma is "The most efficient transformer known" but does no explain how (or maybe it does electrodynamics and induction are not my strong suit) and when I google it the only things that come up are cartoon referances. could someone please explain? Thanks in advance:)
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  3. Oct 15, 2013 #2


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    Plasma has a high density of free charges. This allows to get very intense electric fields.
    I guess in terms of efficiency, superconducting cavities are better, but their field strength is more limited (currently ~35 MeV/m, while plasma acceleration is of the order of GeV/cm).
  4. Oct 15, 2013 #3


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    Plasma Wakefield comes in two different favors: excitation by lasers and by electron beam.

    Here are links on laser plasma wakefields:



    Info on electron plasma Wakefield:


  5. Oct 15, 2013 #4


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    Proton beams are tested, too.

    Here is some recent progress on the energy spread issue: Quasi-monoenergetic laser-plasma acceleration of electrons to 2 GeV

    They are probably nice for medical and industrial applications, for particle colliders the beam is not narrow enough. (at least at the moment).
  6. Oct 15, 2013 #5
    Thanks guys. Does anyone have a link to a diagram or schematic of a hypothetical plasma w/f accelerator for me? I am having trouble understanding the whole thing works.
    Every page I look at is either too complex or so simple it omits vital info. Thanks if it's not too much
  7. Oct 15, 2013 #6
    How does it CONTINUALLY accelerate the particles. I get how it gives them an initial massive kick.
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