Indexed on: 06 May '11Published on: 06 May '11Published in: Physics - Accelerator Physics
The plasma wakefield amplitudes which could be achieved via the modulation of a long proton bunch are investigated. We find that in the limit of long bunches compared to the plasma wavelength, the strength of the accelerating fields is directly proportional to the number of particles in the drive bunch and inversely proportional to the square of the transverse bunch size. The scaling laws were tested and verified in detailed simulations using parameters of existing proton accelerators, and large electric fields were achieved, reaching 1 GV/m for LHC bunches. Energy gains for test electrons beyond 6 TeV were found in this case.