An Undulator-Based Laser Wakefield Accelerator Electron Beam Diagnostic
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Currently particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider use RF cavities with a maximum field gradient of 50-100 MV/m to accelerate particles over long distances. A new type of plasma based accelerator called a Laser Plasma Accelerator (LPA) is being investigated at the LOASIS group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which can sustain field gradients of 10-100 GV/m. This new type of accelerator offers the potential to create compact high energy accelerators and light sources. In order to investigate the feasibility of producing a compact light source an undulator-based electron beam diagnostic for use on the LOASIS LPA has been built and calibrated. This diagnostic relies on the principal that the spectral analysis of synchrotron radiation from an undulator can reveal properties of the electron beam such as emittance, energy and energy spread. The effects of electron beam energy spread upon the harmonics of undulator produced synchrotron radiation were derived from the equations of motion of the beam and numerically simulated. The diagnostic consists of quadrupole focusing magnets to collimate the electron beam, a 1.5 m long undulator to produce the synchrotron radiation, and a high resolution high gain XUV spectrometer to analyze the radiation. The undulator was aligned and tuned in order to maximize the flux of synchrotron radiation produced. The spectrometer was calibrated at the Advanced Light Source, with the results showing the ability to measure electron beam energy spreads at resolutions as low as 0.1% rms, a major improvement over conventional magnetic spectrometers. Numerical simulations show the ability to measure energy spreads on realistic LPA produced electron beams as well as the improvements in measurements made with the quadrupole magnets. Experimentally the quadrupoles were shown to stabilize and focus the electron beams at specific energies for their insertion into the undulator, with the eventual hope of producing an all optical Free Electron Laser operating in the XUV and soft x-ray regimes.