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New Frontiers in Laser-Plasma Acceleration: From Plasma Waves to Intelligent Machines

by Andreas Döpp (LMU Munich)

Kleiner Physikhörsaal (N 020) (LMU München)

Kleiner Physikhörsaal (N 020)

LMU München

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80539 München

Laser-plasma acceleration is an emerging high-gradient particle accelerator technology with disruptive potential in both fundamental science and societal applications. The method employs plasma wakefields, generated by the intense fields of a laser or particle beam, to achieve field strengths that are orders of magnitude higher than conventional accelerators. This provides not only a path towards compact and cost-effective acceleration but also broader accessibility to accelerators and secondary sources. In this presentation, I will explore both foundations and future innovation paths in laser-plasma acceleration.

First, I am going to discuss advancements in understanding the formation of plasma wakefields, shedding light on the intricate roles of high-intensity lasers and bright particle beams as drivers of plasma acceleration. Second, I am going to discuss results to improve control of the critical injection and acceleration processes. In particular, the “hybrid” plasma accelerator concept combines beneficial aspects of both laser-driven and beam-driven accelerators.

In the final part of my talk, I will highlight the integration of AI-supported diagnostics and “intelligent” control tools in laser-plasma acceleration. These advancements are pivotal for enhancing accelerator performance and tailoring it to specific applications. Building on this, I will outline a vision for an intelligent accelerator facility as a compact, accessible and versatile radiation source with the potential to revolutionize both fundamental science and societal applications.