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Professor Robert Bingham



Magnetic field generation in plasma waves driven by co-propagating intense twisted lasers
Shi Y., Vieira J., Trines R. M. G. M., Bingham R., Shen B.F., Kingham R. J.
Physical Review Letters Vol 121, (2018)
Observed proton beam induced disruption of a tungsten powder sample at CERN
Davenne T., Loveridge P., Bingham R., Wark J., Back J. J., Caretta O., Densham C., O'Dell J., Wilcox D., Fitton M.
Phys. Rev. Accel. Beams Vol 21, (2018)
Advantages to a diverging Raman amplifier
Sadler James D., Silva Luís O., Fonseca Ricardo A., Glize Kevin, Kasim Muhammad F., Savin Alex, Aboushelbaya Ramy, Mayr Marko W., Spiers Benjamin, Wang Robin H. W., Bingham Robert, Trines Raoul M. G. M., Norreys Peter A.
Communications Physics Vol 1, (2018)
Electron acceleration by wave turbulence in a magnetized plasma
Rigby A., Cruz F., Albertazzi B., Bamford R., Bell A. R., Cross J. E., Fraschetti F., Graham P., Hara Y., Kozlowski P. M., Kuramitsu Y., Lamb D. Q., Lebedev S., Marques J. R., Miniati F., Morita T., Oliver M., Reville B., Sakawa Y., Sarkar S., Spindloe C., Trines R., Tzeferacos P., Silva L. O., Bingham R., Koenig M., Gregori G.
Nature Physics, (2018)
Axion particle production in a laser-induced dynamical spacetime
Wadud M.A., King B., Bingham R., Gregori G.
Phys.Lett. B Vol 777, pp. 388-393, (2018)
Attosecond-scale absorption at extreme intensities
Savin A. F., Ross A. J., Serzans M., Trines R. M. G. M., Ceurvorst L., Ratan N., Spiers B., Bingham R., Robinson A. P. L., Norreys P. A.
Physics of Plasmas Vol 24, (2017)

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Parametric Wave Coupling and Non-Linear Mixing in Plasma
Ronald, Kevin (Principal Investigator) Bingham, Robert (Co-investigator) Eliasson, Bengt (Co-investigator) Phelps, Alan (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2017 - 31-Jul-2020
Doctoral Training Grant 2010 | Wilson, Kathryn Ann
Bingham, Robert (Principal Investigator) Speirs, David (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2010 - 18-Sep-2014
Particle acceleration in magnetised shocks produced by laser and pulsed power facilities
Bingham, Robert (Principal Investigator)
"We propose an ambitious multi-institution experimental programme to investigate one of the greatest mysteries in astrophysics: the acceleration mechanism that leads to generation of high energy cosmic rays. The presence of energetic particles in the Universe is a well established fact, with measurements of the cosmic ray (CR) spectrum extending up to astonishing 1e20 eV. In spite of this, the exact mechanism that leads to such high energy particles still remains controversial. The central theme of this proposal is to conduct a programme of linked earth-based experimental and theoretical investigations into CR acceleration mechanisms to address this long running problem. Although many different processes may result in CR acceleration, the present day understanding is that shock waves and turbulence play an essential role in energizing both the electrons and ions present in the interstellar medium. We will perform linked experimental and numerical studies of the acceleration of electrons in strong shocks formed in magnetised plasmas. The shocks will be formed by supersonic plasma flows created by high intensity lasers and Mega-Ampere-level pulsed currents. The first set of experiments will investigate the initial acceleration of electrons, which should allow the formation of electron population with energies significantly exceeding their initial thermal energy. This is expected to occur due to plasma wave turbulence which is excited in the pre-shock plasma by the ions reflected from the shock front, but this mechanism has never been tested by experiment. We will characterise the development of the turbulence and measure the parameters of the accelerated electrons using state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques previously developed by us. In the second set of experiments, we will investigate the so-called diffusive shock acceleration mechanism, which is considered as the most plausible mechanism of cosmic ray acceleration. This will be achieved by injecting sufficiently energetic electrons into the shock, in such a way that these electrons will then sample both the pre- and post-shock regions, performing multiple passages through the shock front as required for this mechanism to operate efficiently. Use of a magnetic spectrometer will allow direct measurements of the energy of the accelerated electrons which will be compared with theoretical predictions. As part of this project we will also perform numerical simulations using state of the art hybrid-MHD and PIC codes and cross-compare the results with our experimental data. The computational and theoretical components of the project will allow us to forge a strong connection between experiment, astrophysical models and observations. The proposed research lies at the border between Plasma Physics and Astrophysics, and will advance the development of the novel research area of Laboratory Astrophysics, which seeks to enhance the understanding of the physics governing the behaviour of astrophysical objects directly via scaled laboratory experiments, combined with computer modelling. Creating the extreme plasma conditions required for scaled reconstruction of astrophysical environments in the laboratory, became possible only recently thanks to the advent of high energy lasers and fast rise-time high-current pulsed power facilities. The similarity between the lab and nature in terms of key dimensionless parameters (e.g. Mach number) is sufficiently close to make such experiments highly relevant. The timeliness of this proposal is also underlined by the growing interest in this field internationally with major efforts in USA (Rochester, Livermore - NIF) and Europe (Bordeaux - LaserMegajoule). The combined expertise of the authors of this proposal and the involvement of international collaborators from Astrophysics community will allow us to create and exploit an unprecedented capability for the Laboratory Astrophysics research and provide both breadth and depth to the programme."
Period 01-Feb-2016 - 31-Jul-2019
Proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration - a new route to a TeV e+e-collider
Bingham, Robert (Principal Investigator)
"Over the last fifty years, accelerators of ever increasing energy and size have allowed us to probe the fundamental structure of the physical world. This has culminated in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, a 27-km long accelerator which hopes to discover new particles such as the Higgs Boson or new phenomena such as Supersymmetry. Using current accelerator technology, a next collider such as a linear electron-positron collider would 30-50 km long which would require immense investment. As an alternative, we are pursuing a new ultra-compact technology which would allow a reduction by about a factor of ten in length and hence would reduce the cost by a significant fraction. The idea presented here is to impact a high-energy proton beam, such as those at CERN, into a plasma. The free, negatively-charged electrons in the plasma are knocked out of their position by the protons, but are then attracted back by the positively-charged ions, creating a high-gradient electric wakefield and an oscillating motion is started by the plasma electrons. Experiments have already been carried out impacting lasers or an electron beam onto a plasma and accelerating gradients have been observed which are 1000 times higher than conventional accelerators. Given the much higher initial energy of available proton beams, it is anticipated that the electric fields it creates in a plasma could accelerate electrons in the wakefield up to the teraelectron-volts scale required for a future collider, but in a single stage and with a length of a few km. Such a collider is, however, many years in the future and test experiments are first needed. A first proof-of-principle experiment will be performed at CERN over the next 5 years. The experiment will use a high-energy proton beam to impact on a plasma cell of about 10 m and measure the energy change in a bunch of electrons which will travel behind the proton beam. Observing significant energy changes in the electrons would demonstrate the concept of this form of acceleration which has so far only been studied in simulation. The UK has seven groups (ASTeC, Central Laser Facility, Cockcroft Institute, Imperial College, John Adams Institute, Strathclyde and UCL) in the collaboration preparing for this test experiment in CERN. We propose a programme to answer various technical issues and develop a wide-range of instrumentation which will the allow us to successfully build the test experiment. A crucial part is being able to build a plasma cell with a uniform density over lengths much longer than previously tried. We will also design the electron particle source to be fired into the plasma at exactly the right time so as to feel the largest possible accelerating gradient in the wakefield created by the proton beam. To determine the success of the experiment, we will design diagnostic tools which will measure the size of the wakefield and the energy and spatial profile of the electron beam after it has been accelerated in the plasma. Finally, our results will improve simulations of plasma wakefields to give us more confidence in our expectations of a larger-scale experiment and help us best optimise its layout and capabilities. If successful, this experiment will lead to a further larger-scale project to accelerate bunches of electrons of small spatial extent with high particle numbers and ultimately a new form of acceleration which could lead to future, energy-frontier particle physics experiments. This technique has the potential to radically alter the frontier of high energy physics with accelerators as performant as currently planned or required, but at a tenth of the length and hence cost. With the significantly larger acceleration gradients and smaller spatial extent, plasma-based accelerator technology could also lead to vastly smaller synchrotron light sources which probe the structure of e.g. proteins and table-top accelerators of lower energy for use in hospitals or industry."
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 30-Sep-2015
Critical Mass: Collective radiation-beam-plasma interactions at high intensities
Jaroszynski, Dino (Principal Investigator) Bingham, Robert (Co-investigator) Boyd, Marie (Co-investigator) Ledingham, Kenneth (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Wiggins, Samuel (Co-investigator)
This proposal describes a programme of research on single-particle and collective radiation-beam-plasma interactions at high field intensities, production of high-brightness particle beams with femtosecond to attosecond duration, new sources of coherent and incoherent radiation that are both compact and inexpensive, new methods of accelerating particles which could make them widely available and, by extending their parameter range, stimulate new application areas. An important adjunct to the proposal will be a programme to apply the sources to demonstrate their usefulness and also provide a way to involve industry and other end-users. The project builds on previous experiments and theoretical investigations of the Advanced Laser Plasma High-energy Accelerators towards X-rays (ALPHA-X) project, which has demonstrated controlled acceleration in a laser-plasma wakefield accelerator (LWFA), initial applications of beams from the LWFA and demonstrations of gamma ray production due to resonant betatron motion in the LWFA. The programme will have broad relevance, through developing an understanding of the highly nonlinear and collective physics of radiation-matter interactions, to fields ranging from astrophysics, fusion and nuclear physics, to the interaction of radiation with biological matter. It will also touch on several basic problems in physics, such as radiation reaction in plasma media and the development of coherence in nonlinear coupled systems.
Period 19-Apr-2012 - 18-Jan-2016
Beam driven instabilities in magnetized plasmas
Phelps, Alan (Principal Investigator) Bingham, Robert (Co-investigator) Cross, Adrian (Co-investigator) Ronald, Kevin (Co-investigator)
Electromagnetic radiation is another, broader, name for light, encompassing radio waves through to gamma rays. This proposal intends to investigate the ability of an electron beam gyrating in a fixed magnetic field to interact with an electromagnetic wave, in the microwave part of the spectrum. In certain conditions this interaction can be arranged so that the electrons slow down, and the energy they lose is conserved by an increase in the energy of the wave. This process is effectively LASER action. In particular the project will consider an electron beam where some electrons are very nearly travelling along the magnetic field lines and others are gyrating nearly perpendicularly to it. A new theoretical idea has been proposed as a result of astronomical observations which expects especially high growth rates to occur from this type of electron beam and potentially efficient conversion of the electron energy to wave energy. To evaluate this potential, and the validity of the theoretical idea, the project will conduct an experiment where such a beam will be produced by magnetic compression and the emissions from the beam will be observed for different values of the magnetic field and radiation field distributions. Measurements of the beam current, voltage position and velocity will be compared to the measurements of the amplitude and frequency of the microwave emissions. Theoretical research will also be undertaken to ensure the expected behaviour is compared accurately with the actually realisable experimental geometry. This combined approach of theoretical and experimental investigation will allow the project to compare the experimental results with the predictions of the theoretical model and also with the output of computational simulations, thereby establishing its validity and potential for applications.
Period 01-Apr-2006 - 30-Sep-2009

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