Full-scale particle-in-cell simulations of a meter-long plasma wakefield accelerator (PWFA) are presented in two dimensions. The results support the design of a current PWFA experiment in the nonlinear blowout regime where analytic solutions are intractable. A relativistic electron bunch excites a plasma wake that accelerates trailing particles at rates of several hundred MeV/m. A comparison is made of various simulation codes, and a parallel object-oriented code OSIRIS is used to model a full meter of acceleration. Excellent agreement is obtained between the simulations and analytic expressions for the transverse betatron oscillations of the beam. The simulations are used to develop scaling laws for designing future multi-GeV accelerator experiments.
- Received 12 July 1999
- Published in the issue dated June 2000
© 2000 The American Physical Society