Future developments in accelerators are aimed at producing more compact sources of high energy particles. The two-beam accelerator is already a feature of the CLIC scheme for a linear collider, but more radical techniques are being studied including the use wake fields of an intense particle beam to accelerate following particles. Waves in plasma produce accelerating fields that are orders of magnitude greater than in conventional systems and can be used as the equivalent of rf cavities making the virtual photons for laser driven accelerators. Other methods of harnessing the immense energy concentration of laser fields include acceleration on the surface of gratings and by the Inverse Cerenkov effect. Astrophysics may provide the inspiration for the invention of a new accelerating principle as we study the production of extremely high energy cosmic rays.
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