DFG 2020-2024

Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations 
of beam self-modulation and external injection
in plasma wake field acceleration

The project is aimed at full three-dimensional Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations of proton bunch self-modulation in long plasma columns and wake field excitation for high energy acceleration. The simulations are to support the “RUN 2” phase of AWAKE (Advanced WAKEfield) experiment at CERN [1,2] that exploits self-modulation of a long proton bunch in plasma [3]. Presently, the quasi-static version of our particle-in-cell (PIC) code VLPL (Virtual Laser-Plasma Lab) [4] is used by several groups to simulate the unabridged AWAKE conditions. The RUN 2 phase of AWAKE will use staged plasma cavities and longitudinally tailored plasma profile to optimize the wake structure. The PIC simulations in the full 3D geometry – both quasistatic and electromagnetic ones – are crucial to understand radial symmetry of the excited wake field and the achievable quality of the witness bunch acceleration. To speed up the simulations by an order of magnitude or more, we are going to implement our code in 3D cylindrical geometry and gauge it against the Cartesian geometry.


DFG 2020-2024

Interaction of extremely intense flows of electromagnetic energy and QED processes in supercritical fields



The new frontiers of the available laser intensity level will be reached with the powerful laser facilities that at the moment are under construction around the globe, including the European project Extreme Light Infrastructure, the POLARIS laser in Dresden-Rossendorf (Germany), and the XCELS laser in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). At the same time, the unique multi-GeV linear electron colliders are in operation in at the DESY (Hamburg, Germany) as a part of the free electron laser XFEL, and at the FACET (Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests) facility at SLAC (Stanford, USA). It is planned that both will be combined with powerful femtosecond optical lasers soon.


Spectacular progress in both the laser technology and in the conventional as well as in new plasma-based methods for particle acceleration open unique opportunities for experimental studies of the Intense Field Quantum Electrodynamics (IFQED) effects, including those yet almost unexplored like, for instance, high order radiative corrections.


In electromagnetic fields so strong that the strength in a proper reference frame of an ultra-relativistic particle exceeds the critical (Schwinger) value by factor up to 1000, high order radiative corrections become significant. In this context of exceptional interest is the recently proposed medium-term progressive upgrade of the FACET-II facility. It aims at creation of an extreme state-of-the-art colliding beam configuration with 100 GeV electron-positron bunches carrying Mega-Ampere currents and focused down to the nanometer scale. The bunch density at the interaction point will thus exceed the Compton density for the first time. As a result, we are going to confront a novel regime that combines the extremely high energies of leptons with the extreme densities and self-fields. However, a theoretical approach for its adequate description is currently missing.




BMBF-Verbundprojekt „Pilotstudien zur strahlgetriebenen Plasma-Wakefield-Beschleunigung für die Elementarteilchenphysik“



"Advanced regimes of proton beam-driven plasma wake field acceleration"