Plasma accelerators utilize the enormous electric fields formed within plasma waves to accelerate charged particles to high energies in a fraction of the distance needed in a conventional particle accelerator. You can find further details of our research programme in this area on our Research page.
Our lead academics are all members of the John Adams Institute (JAI), working in Oxford's sub-departments of Particle Physics and in Atomic & Laser Physics. We collaborate closely with JAI at Imperial College and with groups at DESY, Jena, MPQ and LBNL. Some experiments are undertaken in our laboratories in Oxford, at facilities based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (just outside Oxford), or with our collaborators in the USA and Europe.
Our work on laser-driven plasma accelerators is in four areas: (i) investigation of techniques for controlling the injection of electrons into the plasma wakefield; (ii) development of new techniques for driving plasma accelerators, such as multi-pulse laser wakefield acceleration; (iii) development of techniques for driving the intense driving laser pulse over 100s of mm; and (iv) development of applications of laser-driven plasma accelerators, particularly their application to the generation of x-rays. We pursue these goals by both experiment and numerical modelling.
Projects available to start in 2019
We are looking for graduate students to work on many aspects of laser-driven plasma accelerators, starting October 2019.
There is scope for up to three new graduate students to work on numerical simulations and experiments exploring one or more of the following topics:
- Controlled injection in plasma accelerators driven by single and multiple laser pulses
- Generation of betatron radiation and its application to medical and biological imaging
- Simulations of MP-LWFAs driven by novel kilohertz, ultrafast laser systems
- Investigation of beam loading effects in MP-LWFAs
- Demonstration of electron acceleration in MP-LWFAs
- Start-to-end simulations of MP-LWFAs and outline design and assessment of their potential performance
- Extending the acceleration length in plasma accelerators by tailoring the longitudinal plasma profile
As far as possible we will seek to tailor the blend of these topics to match the strengths and preferences of graduate students joining us.