- Conference date: 10–15 June 2012
- Location: Austin, Texas, USA
When a long proton bunch propagates in plasma, it is subject to the self-modulational instability. The radius of the proton bunch is modulated at the background plasma wavelength. The wake field is then resonantly excited. The amplitude of the wake is growing exponentially up to a saturation level that can reach a significant fraction of the wave breaking limit. The phase velocity of the wake is defined not only by the driver velocity, but also by the own instability dynamics. At the linear stage of the instability, the phase velocity is decreased that allows to inject low energy electrons in the wake. At the saturation phase, the wake phase velocity becomes close to that of the drvier. Side injection of particles at the right position in plasma may help to improve the maximum energy gain and the quality of acceleration. The wake's phase velocity can be controlled by smooth density gradients. The modulations of the proton bunch can be diagnosed by a transverse coherent transition radiation.
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