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Using a plasma driven by a proton beam to enhance charged particle beam acceleration.

The Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiment (AWAKE) is an accelerator R&D project based at CERN and carried out by an international collaboration.

The UK is a major participant in AWAKE, making leading contributions to the beam line design, diagnostics to characterise the initial and accelerated beams, and development of a plasma cell scalable to over hundreds of metres and the associated diagnostic systems.


High energies - short distances

AWAKE explores the use of plasma to accelerate particles to high energies over short distances.


These strong electric plasma wakefields can have gradients of up to 1,000 times higher than the fields that can be achieved in conventional radiofrenqyency accelerators.


The new technique, called proton-driven wakefield acceleration, takes advantage of the strong electric fields created in the wake of a proton beam travelling through a plasma.

Protons drive the wake

While previous experiments of wakefield acceleration have relied on using electrons or lasers to drive the wake, AWAKE is the world’s first to use protons.

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