A chirped pulse inverse free-electron laser (IFEL) vacuum accelerator for high gradient laser acceleration in vacuum. By the use of an ultrashort (femtosecond), ultrahigh intensity chirped laser pulse both the IFEL interaction bandwidth and accelerating gradient are increased, thus yielding large gains in a compact system. In addition, the IFEL resonance condition can be maintained throughout the interaction region by using a chirped drive laser wave. In addition, diffraction can be alleviated by taking advantage of the laser optical bandwidth with negative dispersion focusing optics to produce a chromatic line focus. The combination of these features results in a compact, efficient vacuum laser accelerator which finds many applications including high energy physics, compact table-top laser accelerator for medical imaging and therapy, material science, and basic physics.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.