Conventional accelerators require multiple football fields in length to reach very high particle energies (multi-billion eV). Laser-powered, plasma-based accelerators, where electrons surf on waves, can do this in just a few 10’s of cm. This plasma technology is at the brink of offering a profoundly different way in which we may build particle accelerators, paving the way for applications such as generation of intense radiation, injection into storage rings, future colliders or medical therapy.

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