Preliminary results from the UCLA/SLAC ultra-high gradient cerenkov wakefield accelerator experiment

M. C. Thompson, H. Badakov, J. B. Rosenzweig, G. Travish, M. Hogan, R. Ischebeck, N. Kirby, P. Muggli, A. Scotts, R. Siemann, D. Walz, R. Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first phase of an experiment to study the performance of dielectric Cerenkov wakefield accelerating structures at extremely high gradients in the GV/m range has been completed. This experiment takes advantage of the unique SLAC FFTB electron beam and its demonstrated ultra-short pulse lengths and high currents (e.g., σ z = 20 μm at Q = 3 nC). The FFTB electron beam has been successfully focused down and sent through varying lengths of fused silica capillary tubing with two different sizes: ID = 200 μm / OD = 325 μm and ID = 100 μmi / OD = 325 μm. The pulse length of the electron beam was varied in the range 20 μm < σ z < 100 μm which produced a range of electric fields between 2 and 20 GV/m at the inner surface of the dielectric tubes. We observed a sharp increase in optical emissions from the capillaries in the middle part of this surface field range which we believe indicates the transition between sustainable field levels and breakdown. If this initial interpretation is correct, the surfaced fields that were sustained equate to on axis accelerating field of several GV/m. In future experiments we plan to collect and measure coherent Cerenkov radiation emitted from the capillary tube to gain more information about the strength of the accelerating fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4343-4354
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics A
Issue number23
StatePublished - Sep 20 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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