Dr. Chan Joshi, the professor of University of California, Los Angeles, reviews recent progress in the development of plasma-based particle accelerators and considers the challenges still to be overcome to turn this concept into a practical technology for high-energy physics. This overview was published on recent CERN Courier Vol 47, No.5(2007).
(a) A simple 1D schematic of how wakefields are excited by a short-laser (top) or particle-beam (bottom) driver in a plasma. (b) 3D computer simulation of an extremely nonlinear wakefield excited by the drive beam in the "bubble" regime. The wakefield can accelerate an appropriately phased trailing beam at ultra-high gradients.