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.