September 2004—High-quality electron beams have been obtained by first shaping a channel through hydrogen gas with powerful, precisely timed laser pulses, then accelerating bunches of electrons through the plasma inside the channel. Because of the controlled accelerator length and the characteristics of the channel, there are several billion electrons in each bunch within a few percent of the same high energy, more than 80 MeV. Results have been published in “High-quality electron beams from a laser wakefield accelerator using plasma-channel guiding”, C.G.R. Geddes, Cs. Toth, J. van Tilborg, E. Esarey, C. Schroeder, D. Bruhwiler, C. Nieter, J. Cary, and W.P. Leemans, Nature 431 (September 2004), pp. 538-541. For more information, see the LBNL press release. The technical journal article is here.