A new type of plasma wakefield accelerator driven by magnetowaves

Pisin Chen*, Feng Yin Chang, Guey-Lin Lin, Robert J. Noble, Richard Sydora

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present a new concept for a plasma wakefield accelerator driven by magnetowaves (MPWA). This concept was originally proposed as a viable mechanism for the 'cosmic accelerator' that would accelerate cosmic particles to ultra-high energies in the astrophysical setting. Unlike the more familiar plasma wakefield accelerator (PWFA) and the laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA) where the drivers, the charged-particle beam and the laser, are independently existing entities, MPWA invokes the high-frequency and high-speed whistler mode as the driver, which is a medium wave that cannot exist outside of the plasma. Aside from the difference in drivers, the underlying mechanism that excites the plasma wakefield via the ponderomotive potential is common. Our computer simulations show that under appropriate conditions, the plasma wakefield maintains very high coherence and can sustain high-gradient acceleration over many plasma wavelengths. We suggest that in addition to its celestial application, the MPWA concept can also be of terrestrial utility. A proof-of-principle experiment on MPWA would benefit both terrestrial and celestial accelerator concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024012
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 29 Jun 2009

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