National Academies Press: OpenBook

Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications (1995)

Chapter:Ion Sources with Enhanced Brightness

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Suggested Citation:"Ion Sources with Enhanced Brightness." National Research Council. 1995. Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4936.

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NONNEUTRAL PLASMAS 57 physics measurements on the antiprotons themselves. Moreover, addition of a cold positron plasma to the trapped antiprotons is thought to be the simplest way to produce cold antihydrogen, which would be the first creation of neutral anti-matter in the laboratory. OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY Precision Clocks A wide range of technological opportunities is likely to result from research on laser-cooled ion plasmas. Spectroscopic interrogation of ions in traps is one of a few possible techniques for developing a new generation of precision clocks. Improvements in clocks using pure ion plasmas hinge on understanding the microscopic distribution function of the ions or, equivalently, on a more quantitative theoretical understanding of strongly coupled plasmas. Improved precision clocks would lead to advances in such diverse areas as navigation and tests of general relativity. Precision Mass Spectrometry One of the most important techniques for studying the masses of chemical species is ion cyclotron resonance, where the cyclotron motion of a confined cloud of ions is excited and detected. A large signal-to-noise ratio requires a large number of ions, but in this case precise interpretation of the cyclotron resonance signal hinges on a detailed understanding of the collective modes of oscillation of these multispecies ion plasmas. Scientific issues in this area have only recently begun to be addressed, starting with studies of the cyclotron modes of a single-component electron and ion plasmas, and precision studies of cyclotron resonance for one or a few ions. It is likely that much progress can be made in this area during the next decade. Ion Sources with Enhanced Brightness Laser cooling of 1-MeV ions in storage rings has recently been achieved. The development of methods for cooling these single-component plasmas and understanding their behavior can lead to brighter ion beams and hence to enhanced accelerator performance. It is possible that the "sympathetic cooling" of ions confined in a trap with positrons will lead to brighter sources of positrons for advanced accelerators. The successful achievement of cryogenic plasmas opens up the possibility of preparing spin-polarized plasmas. In principle, these plasmas could provide bright sources of polarized particles for use in particle accelerators.

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Plasma science is the study of ionized states of matter. This book discusses the field's potential contributions to society and recommends actions that would optimize those contributions. It includes an assessment of the field's scientific and technological status as well as a discussion of broad themes such as fundamental plasma experiments, theoretical and computational plasma research, and plasma science education.

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