EPJ ST Highlight - Laser-based accelerators: yes, we CAN!

Future ultra-fast high power lasers, dubbed Coherent Amplification Network (CAN) lasers, will deliver unprecedented accelerating power and efficiency

Few technologies have the power that particle accelerator technology has to touch upon such a broad range of applications at the many frontiers of modern science. Today, thanks to improvements in laser technology, a new generation of accelerators could soon emerge to replace accelerators relying on radio frequencies. In this new special issue, the journal EPJ Special Topics explores the requirements necessary to make such laser accelerators a reality, by presenting the work of the International Coherent Amplification Network (ICAN) research collaboration. Potential applications include future colliders, solutions for vacuum physics, design of Higgs-particle factories, creation of sources of high-flux protons and of neutrons, among others. Further, such accelerators open the door to solutions in nuclear pharmacology and proton therapy as well as orbital debris remediation.

The idea for laser pulse-based accelerators dates back to 1979. Picture a laser pulse in a plasma made up of an ionised gas combining positive ions and electrons. It leaves a wake in which electrons are violently accelerated. Accelerators of the future could exploit this concept to accelerate particles over much shorter distances with greater power levels. They will also have an unprecedented electrical-to-optical power conversion efficiency greater than 30% - compared to much less than 1% with RF accelerators.

In this special issue, ICAN experts explore ways of achieving power generation reaching the 100 kilowatts to megawatt level instead of the 50 watts current technology offers. This greater than average power is achieved thanks to the much higher frequency repetition rate of the laser pulse in CAN systems. Others focus on improving the acceleration efficiency limit by reaching a frequency over 10 kilohertz; investigate improving the capability to synchronise a large number of fibre amplifiers or look into improving the quality of accelerated beams - be they spatial and temporal.

Science and applications of the coherent amplifying network (CAN) laser. G. Mourou, W.S. Brocklesby, M.N. Quinn and J.A. Wheeler (Eds.), Eur. Phys. J. Special Topics 224/13 (2015), DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2015-02561-1

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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