Advanced Diagnostics for Astrophysical Beam-Plasma Experiments in the Laboratory
The interaction of highly energetic particles with plasmas plays a major role in the evolution of the universe and gives rise to many astrophysical processes that are not yet fully understood. Our collaboration, consisting of groups from France and the USA, aims at creating these processes within a laboratory, which permits a high degree of control and insight into parameters that are otherwise not accessible. Therefore, we shoot electron beams from the FACET-II particle accelerator at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory into matter, which essentially mimics the large-scale astrophysical processes on a miniature scale. Furthermore, we study the potential to utilize these processes, as they are expected to efficiently generate brilliant x rays and gamma rays. This makes them potentially useful in fields like medicine, physics, material science and many more. The scope of this project is to adapt and combine diagnostics from different fields, like laser, plasma and accelerator physics, in order to get a more direct and unambiguous understanding of the underlying processes and their interplay. This will not only further our understanding of the universe, but potentially also lead to novel radiation sources for various fields of research.