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The latest events of the Quasar – led LA³NET network took place in Paris on 23rd – 26th October. A workshop on Novel Accelerators and one on Laser Ion Sources were organized in the beautiful surroundings of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie Campus de Cordeliers and gathered more than 70 experts from all over the world.
The Novel Accelerators workshop programme focused on high power laser-driven accelerators, dielectric laser accelerators, and beam-driven wakefield accelerators. The workshop thus joined three communities that all aim at reducing the size, cost and complexity of particle accelerators and light sources, even though all approach this challenge very differently.
The workshop also provided an opportunity for a presentation of the AWAKE experiment in which the Quasar Group is strongly involved in. All talks were followed by questions and stimulated many in-depth discussions. Tuesday afternoon was dedicated to discussions around the most important research challenges in all three areas and in particular how a new training initiative could help tackle them.
Contributions from the Quasar Group included talks by the Group Leader Prof Carsten Welsch on overcoming the challenges in novel accelerators and on the optimization of dielectric grating structures, as well as by Dr Ralph Fiorito on beam diagnostics challenges in AWAKE.
The Laser Ion Sources workshop took place in parallel and was organized in collaboration with the RESIST project and GANIL, one of the key partners in the LA³NET project. This workshop focused on techniques using lasers for resonant particle ionization, including pre-LIST techniques to enhance ion beam purity, advancements in efficiency, selectivity and spectral resolution, as well as new concepts and development of laser technologies for RILIS. The workshop delegates appreciated the opportunity of exchanging ideas and expertise.
Both workshops were organised and directed by Professor Welsch with support from LA³NET project manager Magda Klimontowska from the EU Project TEAM based within the Quasar Group, and colleagues from GANIL. The events were sponsored by LA³NET and Laser Quantum.
LA³NET was an EU-funded training network which successfully trained 19 early stage researchers between 2011 and 2015 in the area of laser applications at accelerators. It was recognised as a formal success story by the European Commission. Although the project formally finished a year ago, the consortium decided to continue collaboration beyond the original timeframe, including the organisation of scientific events for the wider research community. It is clear that the enormous demand on experts working at the interface between lasers and accelerators cannot currently be met and the consortium strives to initiate future national and international projects to address this problem.