The PWASC Committee has developed a roadmap for UK plasma accelerator research.

The roadmap provides a UK perspective on plasma accelerator research. The document reviews the state of the art of plasma wakefield acceleration, outlines potential applications, describes the research and development required to enable those applications, and discuss synergies with related areas of research.


It also sets out the resources that would be required to realise these ambitions and provide a timeline for advances in the key areas.


PWASC Recommendations

  1. A facility with target areas and beamlines dedicated to research on laser- and hybrid laser-driven plasma accelerators and their applications should be developed at CLF; these facilities should be state of the art in terms of beam stability, and should take advantage of the UK’s lead in high-average power laser technology to allow operation at repetition rates above 10 Hz.

  2. The development and operation of UK university-scale labs for laser-plasma accelerator research and applications, including e.g. SCAPA beamlines, should to be supported and exploited.

  3. The UK should aim to play a key role, and support the pan-European EuPRAXIA initiative for a European Plasma Research Accelerator with eXcellence In Applications.

  4. A dedicated plasma wakefield acceleration beamline should be developed at CLARA/ASTeC.

  5. The UK should provide substantial, and increased, investment in the AWAKE Run 2 (2021–2024) programme.

  6. Programmatic funding of plasma wakefield accelerators should be provided to optimise the quality and stability of plasma-accelerated particle bunches, to increase pulse repetition rates, and to enable key applications in the industrial sector and in fundamental science.

  7. UKRI should develop mechanisms for providing cross-council support for the wide range of research, in a variety of settings, necessary to drive advances in plasma accelerators; this range includes fundamental research (e.g. plasma physics), technology development (e.g. novel lasers), and application development (e.g. medical imaging).

  8. Mechanisms should be sought to allow UK groups to play leadership roles in international high-visibility collaborations such as SLAC FACET-II, Helmholtz ATHENA, Laserlab Europe, ELI, ARIES etc., and to exploit these.

  9. A national scheme should be developed to enable mobility and knowledge transfer within UK institutions, to increase beam access, and to sustain collaborative efforts; this would provide a means to test new concepts, train students, and prepare for beam time at national and international facilities.

  10. A new "Novel Accelerator Fellowship" scheme should be developed and the support available for training PhD students in novel accelerators should be increased.