The formation of a UK-wide Plasma Wakefield Accelerator Steering Committee (PWASC) was decided at a community-wide meeting at the Central Laser Facility (CLF) in February 2016. In July of the same year, a first constituting meeting of PWASC took place at Daresbury Laboratory.
The establishment of PWASC was motivated by the worldwide success and growth of the plasma wakefield accelerator area.
The establishment of PWASC was motivated by the worldwide success and growth of the plasma wakefield accelerator area, and its transformative and enabling impact for applications across various areas of material and life sciences.
The last years have shown that there is a strongly increasing activity in the field, and at the same time the maturity of underpinning technology continues to advance at rapid pace. The global growth of plasma wakefield accelerator R&D and increasing international investment and competition requires the development of a coherent and sustainable plan for national collaboration in order to maintain and further the UK’s lead in the field.
Experimental research in the UK on plasma wakefield acceleration continues to be undertaken at CLF and major university centres such as the Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA), and it is complemented by opportunities for particle beam-driven plasma accelerators at ASTeC/Daresbury Laboratory.
Furthermore, UK groups have leadership roles in international plasma accelerator projects such as EuPRAXIA and AWAKE, and contributes significantly to related projects in major laboratories like CERN, SLAC, DESY, ELI, and others.