March 11, 2004


Gil Travish
Particle Beam Physics Laboratory

PBPL Produces Advanced Accelerator Based on Inverse Free Electron Laser

(Los Angeles, CA, 11MAR04) The Particle Beam Physics Laboratory (PBPL) at UCLA has successfully operated an advanced accelerator based on the inverse free electron laser (IFEL) configuration. In collaboration with UCLA's Laser-Plasma Group in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (KIAE), PBPL measured an acceleration of over 17 MeV, resulting in the more than doubling of the injected beam energy of 14.5 MeV. The IFEL holds the promise of producing high energy electron beams in much shorter distances than conventional accelerators, by using the ultra-strong fields available in high power lasers.

In the IFEL, acceleration of a dense electron beam is achieved by using the alternating magnetic field of the undulator to couple energy extracted from the co-propagating laser beam. The PBPL IFEL is installed at the Neptune laboratory which houses a state of the art photoinjector ("high brightness electron gun and accelerator") along with the Mars C02 laser – the worlds most energetic CO2 laser with pulse energies of over 100J. In addition, the IFEL utilized a highly complex and precisely tuned undulator ("periodic magnetic structure") with tapering in both period and gap size. This unusual undulator was necessary due to the large energy range and rapid acceleration covered by the beam as it is accelerated in the device.

Additional information on PBPL and the PMQ systems is available at the group web site:

The Particle Beam Physics Laboratory at the UCLA Department of Physics investigates beam physics, accelerators and attendant technologies.

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