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Workshop Working Groups  

High Energy Density Physics and Exotic Acceleration Schemes Working Group
Group-Leader: Tom Katsouleas, USC (katsoule@usc.edu)
Group-Co-leader: Bob Noble, SLAC (noble@SLAC.Stanford.EDU)

The subject matter of this working group has traditionally evolved over the years. Topics broached in this group have often led to exciting new directions of inquiry in accelerator science and related fields (e.g. the revisiting of muon colliders, the plasma afterburner concept, novel photonic materials for optical accelerators). Today a confluence of developments in laser-matter and particle beam-matter interactions is pointing the way toward new methods to pursue basic physics research and previously inaccessible applications using particle accelerators. The production of multi-MeV ions and positron-electron plasmas from laser irradiated foils, particle acceleration in magnetized and unmagnetized plasmas, and the use of particle and laser beams in plasmas to simulate high-energy density astrophysical environments are recent examples.

A particular charge to this group is to consider the design of a laser driven ion (or proton) accelerator. Such devices could have many unique applications including fast fusion ignitors, imaging of shock waves in solids and strong plasma electric fields, heating solid-density matter to eV temperatures to study strongly coupled plasmas, high-brightness souces for high-energy hadron colliders, and ion injectors for cancer therapy machines and the production of medical radioisotopes. Since this an emerging field and a design could be based on any number of different approaches, a special working session will be held in which interested proponents may present their own ion accelerator scheme for general discussion. Proponents are requested to prepare much of their strawman design before the workshop. Of particular interest is the exploration of the coupling of laser produced ion source beam to a conventional accelerator with a view towards obtaining ion beams that are superior in quality in terms of at least one parameter (bunch length, charge, emittance, energy spread, etc.) compared to existing techniques for producing and accelerating ions. During the week of the workshop the concepts can then be refined and finally summarized for the rest of the workshop participants at the workshop close-out. This working group also welcomes contributions that explore any new concepts for high-gradient particle accelerators, colliders, and beam manipulation, and concepts for producing unique high-energy density environments in the laboratory using both lasers and particle beams.