Accelerating electrons and positrons to high energies over short distances is one of the most important open questions in physics. This is because particle acceleration has applications permeating in a large range of fundamental and applied domains.
A promising way to address the challenge is to use extreme laser-plasma interactions since it allows to obtain GeV energies over centimetre distances, a gain a thousand times larger than with conventional accelerators.
The goal of this project is to optimise direct laser acceleration of electrons and positrons using current and next generation laser systems. The rich physics we intend to describe involves large-scale systems, collective plasma processes, propagation of high-amplitude electromagnetic waves and QED processes.
The interplay of these phenomena can only be simulated using the exceptional resources provided by Euro HPC. The electron source developed may find industrial applications in material testing and to produce hard x-rays or gamma-rays for imaging and radiography.
Our project also aims to introduce a compact setup to obtain a GeV positron source on a centimetre scale and at a reduced cost compared to large accelerator facilities, leveraging the ultra-high intensity of next-generation lasers.