Laser plasma acceleration can provide impressive field gradients (GeV/cm) and is regarded as a possible replacement technology for future accelerators both for electrons and protons. It heralds the possibility for the laser, presently confined in atomic physics (1eV), to access the much more difficult realm of the sub-atomic involving GeV particles and nuclear physics. However, any future applications in this regime, scientific or societal, demand on top of high peak power, extraordinarily larger repetition rate (>10kHz) and efficiency>30%, exceeding by many orders of magnitude today’s state of the art.
To circumvent these difficulties a novel laser infrastructure called CAN for Coherent Amplifying Network has been proposed. The CAN concept is based on the phasing of thousands of fiber amplifiers each emitting mJ level pulses. Under the aegis of the EU, a consortium called ICAN was organized to validate the concept and its applications. In its final report, the consortium validated the concept showing that a CAN infrastructure could produce PW peak power, with MW average power and very good wallplug efficiency (30%). They also underlined such a laser comprised of individually accessible fibers would have digital and heuristic properties.
Among the conclusions of the final ICAN meeting held at CERN June 7-29, 2014, it was recommended that an infrastructure providing the above characteristics should be investigated in the frame work of a Design Study or a Future Emerging Technology programs as part of the upcoming Horizon 2020.
ICAN in Horizon 2020
During April 28-29 2014, we are planning a 2-days workshop to establish a consortium of laboratories with recognized expertise in Fiber Lasers, Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics and Particle Physics to build as a first stepping stone a CAN prototype and demonstrate its applicability to the primary scientific and societal applications. This prototype should be relatively close to the final main infrastructure goal, within a factor of 10. It will provide the necessary steps to solve the outstanding technical difficulties and provide the background for a fair estimate of the cost and size of the final infrastructure. This prototype could consist for instance of a thousand amplifying fibers producing 10TW peak power, >10kW and > 20% efficiency.
ICAN - Applications
ICAN ‘s applications cut across many branches of physics and engineering. Here are the main applications that will be studied :
• Laser Wake field acceleration:
• Relativistic Proton Beam generation
• Higgs factories
• Dark Matter and Dark energy
Relativistic proton production is particularly rich in societal applications. Examples include:
• Spallation neutron sources
• Nuclear pharmacology & oncology therapy
• Transmutation of nuclear waste via accelerator-driven systems (ADS)
• Nuclear resonance fluorescence imaging, for detection and identification of radionuclides in security applications and nuclear waste cleanup
The ICAN Consortium The four main project partners are:
- Ecole Polytechnique - IZEST – Paris – France, as coordinator and led by Prof. Gerard Mourou,
- Friedrich Schiller University - optical fiber laser groups- Jena – Germany (Prof. Andreas Tünnermann)
- University of Southampton, ORC, UK (Prof Sir David Payne)
- CERN with Bernhard Holzer).
Experts from other related organizations such as KEK, MPQ Garching, Thales, ONERA, Institut d’Optique (Paris), University of Michigan, and University of Oxford bring their own areas of expertise to the project.
Organizers : G. Mourou EP - Sir D. Payne ORC - A. Tünnerman FhG - B. Holzer CERN