Photonic structures - building blocks of future particle accelerators?
Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff (Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Classical radio-frequency accelerators rely on microwave cavities through which charged particles propagate. By matching the microwave phase to the particle’s position, efficient acceleration can be achieved. We could recently demonstrate that the same scheme - phase-synchronous particle acceleration - can also be achieved with laser light. Proper variation of the optical phase by virtue of a photonic structure allows efficient acceleration of particles propagating along the structure in a vacuum channel right with the optical field. Because of the high damage threshold of transparent optical materials, femtosecond laser fields exceeding 1GV/m can easily be fed into the optical accelerator, leading to acceleration gradients larger than 1GeV/m. Hence, classical radio-frequency accelerator gradients may be surpassed by at least two orders of magnitude, which may lead to accelerators smaller than their classical brethren by the same amount. So now the time is ripe to consider building a photonics-based vacuum channel accelerator, which may have intriguing applications in science and medical applications alike.
Student event: Meet the speaker
We invite you to a student-only discussion-round with Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff before his Munich Physics Colloquium talk.
Be curious and feel free to ask any question.
Monday, 6 June 2016, 16:00 h
Seminar room PH 3076 (upper floor), Physik-Department der TUM, Garching