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Experimental Observation of Plasma Wakefield Growth Driven by the Seeded Self-Modulation of a Proton Bunch

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  • AWAKE Collaboration
Article number054801
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/02/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Issue number5
Number of pages7
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We measure the effects of transverse wakefields driven by a relativistic proton bunch in plasma with densities of 2.1 x 10(14) and 7.7 x 10(14) electrons/cm(3). We show that these wakefields periodically defocus the proton bunch itself, consistently with the development of the seeded self-modulation process. We show that the defocusing increases both along the bunch and along the plasma by using time resolved and time-integrated measurements of the proton bunch transverse distribution. We evaluate the transverse wakefield amplitudes and show that they exceed their seed value (<15 MV/m) and reach over 300 MV/m. All these results confirm the development of the seeded self-modulation process, a necessary condition for external injection of low energy and acceleration of electrons to multi-GeV energy levels.