e-linac: Electron Linear Accelerator

First wake-field acceleration of electrons

Accelerator Science
On May 26th, 2018, the AWAKE collaboration (to which TRIUMF has been an active contributor of beam instrumentation since 2014) successfully accelerated witness-electrons for the first time. AWAKE has demonstrated that these low energy electrons can gain energy while “riding” waves generated in plasma (ionized gas) by a proton beam, at a rate of around 200 MV/m (million volts per meter) over a distance of just 10 m. This represents current-day state-of-the-art technology in particle accelerators, for the overall distance over which acceleration can be sustained and ensuring intensity and quality of accelerated beams. These results are an important step towards the future development of smaller high-energy particle accelerators.

Acceleration of electrons in the plasma wakefield of a proton bunch

E. Adli et al., Nature, 561, 363 (2018)

Model-supported accelerator beam tuning

Accelerator Science
An efficient but accurate beam dynamics model for linear accelerators has been developed and is being used in our control rooms, and in particular to commission the electron linear accelerator (e-linac). Other labs use simulations of up to ond million particles and then distill these down to only the 3 size parameters of the beam bunches. These multi-particle simulations are too slow to be used in online tuning of an accelerator. We have developed a technique that tracks bunch sizes, including space charge, instead of individual particles. Such applications have existed for many years but only for beam transport, not for linear accelerators. Our application allows operators to calculate new linac tunes online. It has generated international interest and an invited talk at the 2016 Linac Conference.

Fast Envelope Tracking for Space Charge Dominated Injectors

R. Baartman, LINAC 2016 conference proceedings, East Lansing, MI, USA, 1017 (2016)