Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Computational studies and optimization of wakefield accelerators
- Author(s): Geddes, C.G.R.
- et al.
Laser- and particle beam-driven plasma wakefield accelerators produce accelerating fields thousands of times higher than radio-frequency accelerators, offering compactness and ultrafast bunches to extend the frontiers of high energy physics and to enable laboratory-scale radiation sources. Large-scale kinetic simulations provide essential understanding of accelerator physics to advance beam performance and stability and show and predict the physics behind recent demonstration of narrow energy spread bunches. Benchmarking between codes is establishing validity of the models used and, by testing new reduced models, is extending the reach of simulations to cover upcoming meter-scale multi-GeV experiments. This includes new models that exploit Lorentz boosted simulation frames to speed calculations. Simulations of experiments showed that recently demonstrated plasma gradient injection of electrons can be used as an injector to increase beam quality by orders of magnitude. Simulations are now also modeling accelerator stages of tens of GeV, staging of modules, and new positron sources to design next-generation experiments and to use in applications in high energy physics and light sources.