Berkeley Lab


Click to download Report of Workshop on Laser Technology for k-BELLA and Beyond (September 2017).

The topic of the workshop, held at LBNL May 9-11, was near- and long-term technology prospects for ultrafast lasers that could operate in the multi-kW to even tens-of-kW average power range. Such laser performance is needed for k-BELLA, further stepping stones to a laser-plasma accelerator relevant to high-energy physics, and spinoff benefits en route.

Leemans Wins IEEE’s Particle Accelerator Science & Technology Award

Brookhaven’s Ilan Ben-Zvi (l.) presents the award to Leemans
Dr. Wim Leemans, BELLA Center and Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division Director, was recognized with the IEEE Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award. He received the award in an October 13, 2016 ceremony at the North American Particle Accelerator Conference (NA-PAC 2016).

Leemans was honored “for pioneering development of laser-plasma accelerators.” One of the leaders in the field, he is director of ATAP’s Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center as well as of ATAP. He had already been elected a Fellow of the IEEE.

At each NA-PAC, the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society gives this award to two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of particle accelerator science and technology.

“It’s quite an honor to be in such company,” says Leemans of the accelerator science and technology luminaries who have been recognized with the PAST Award. He joins four previous recipients from ATAP and its predecessor organizations, starting with inaugural winner L. Jackson Laslett and including Ronald M. Scanlan, Ka-Ngo Leung, and Alpert Garren.

BELLA Center’s Cameron Geddes Named a Fellow of the American Physical Society

CGRGeddes_150x180y_28July2015 BELLA Center’s Dr. Cameron Geddes has joined the ranks of Fellows of the APS. Geddes was honored in 2016 “for research demonstrating the production of high quality electron beams from laser plasma accelerators.”

APS Fellows are recognized by their peers “for exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.” Geddes joins 25 other present and former staff members of ATAP and its predecessor organization, the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, to be so honored. Six other researchers associated with Berkeley Lab also received the distinction in 2016.

Early Career Research Program Award for BELLA Center’s Jeroen van Tilborg

JVanTilborg_75x90y BELLA scientist Jeroen van Tilborg has received a DOE Early Career Research Program Award. He joins Chad Mitchell of the ATAP Division’s Center for Beam Physics among LBNL’s five 2016 recipients. They were among 49 winners nationwide out of 720 applicants in this prestigious Office of Science program for researchers who have received their PhD within the last 10 years. Click here for an LBNL Public Affairs story about the May 3 announcement.

BELLA Center Demonstrates Staging; Major Proof of Concept On Road to Future Laser-Plasma Accelerators

Staging_sim_cookie_150x149y Many laser-plasma accelerator (LPA) applications will require far more beam energy than is reasonable to achieve in a single accelerating stage. BELLA Center researchers have recently demonstrated coupling of an accelerated beam from one LPA stage into another. This is considered an essential technique for the future of LPA Their work is described in an article published February 1, 2016 in Nature.

In addition to being a pathway to higher energies, staging can also be used to decelerate an electron beam that has served its purpose, rather than sending it to a beam dump that must be shielded against the radiation that would result. This could further improve the compactness of, say, future light sources, or portable applications in homeland security or medical treatment.

To learn more, see the February 2016 edition of the ATAP Newsletter.

LPA_FEL_100x67y   Moore Foundation Backs BELLA FEL with $2.4M Grant

BELLA researchers will receive $2.4 million from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop compact free-electron lasers that will serve as powerful, affordable x-ray sources for scientific discovery. This new technology could lead to portable and high-contrast imaging with x-ray accelerators to observe chemical reactions, visualize the flow of electrons, or watch biological processes unfold. To learn more, see the February 2016 edition of the ATAP Newsletter.

Workshops forge aspects of plasma accelerator futures

A pair of workshops hosted by ATAP Division in January, with results that are feeding into higher-level strategic-planning processes in the plasma-based-accelerator and laser-technology communities, will have implications for the next moves of BELLA and the future of accelerators. The Plasma-Based Accelerator Concepts for Colliders Workshop was intended to “identify the key physics and technology R&D needed to realize a plasma-based collider, and to formulate a nationally and internationally coordinated roadmap for carrying out this research over the next two decades.”

Besides electrons, the present and future BELLA lasers and laser-plasma acceleration concepts also offer the prospect of compact, efficient acceleration of ions. The repetition rate, spot size, and intensity of BELLA lasers could open new doors for discovery science related to plasma physics, high-energy-density physics, and nuclear physics, with spinoff prospects including cancer treatment and nuclear security. The Workshop on High Energy Density Physics with BELLA-i discussed this unique opportunity for discovery science as well as applications.

Visit the April 2016 ATAP Newsletter for more information on these workshops.

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