The Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield
Acceleration Experiment (AWAKE) aims at studying
plasma wakefield generation and electron
acceleration driven by proton bunches. It is a
proof-of-principle R&D experiment at CERN and
the world׳s first proton driven plasma wakefield
acceleration experiment. The AWAKE experiment
will be installed in the former CNGS facility
and uses the 400 GeV/c proton beam bunches from
the SPS. The first experiments will focus on the
self-modulation instability of the long
(rms ~12 cm) proton bunch in the plasma. These experiments are planned for the
end of 2016. Later, in 2017/2018, low energy (~15 MeV) electrons will be externally injected into the sample wakefields and be accelerated beyond 1 GeV.
Figure 1: CERN accelerator complex.
In the AWAKE master schedule, the experiment to obtain evidence for the SMI corresponds to Phase 1, and is expected to start by the end of 2016. In Phase 2, AWAKE aims at the first demonstration of proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration of an electron witness beam; this programme is planned to start by the end of 2017. At a later phase it is foreseen to have two plasma cells in order to separate the modulation of the proton bunch from the acceleration stage. Simulations show that this would optimize the acceleration of external electrons and reach even higher gradients.
This text is extracted from: AWAKE, The Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiment at CERN.
Installation of the plasma cell:
AWAKE proton beam commissioning:
Some pictures of the AWAKE facility: