Laser accelerator breaks the gigaelectronvolt barrier

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In the paper published this week, Tae Moon Jeong, Jongmin Lee and colleagues at the Advanced Photonics Research Institute Gwangju, Korea, have used a dual-stage technique to create electrons with energies up to about 3 GeV. In their experiment, the electrons are accelerated to 400 MeV in the first gas jet and then travel a few millimetres to the second gas jet. The electrons are moving at very nearly the speed of light so keep pace with the laser light, arriving at the second jet just in time to be accelerated again.

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