In the past decade, laser-plasma acceleration has shown an impressive progress, with outstanding achievements from both experimental and theoretical viewpoints. Exploiting closely the development of ultraintense, ultrashort pulse lasers, laser-plasma acceleration has rapidly developed, showing accelerating gradients of tens of GeV/m and making the vision of miniature accelerators more realistic than ever. Indeed, the growing interest of the wider scientific community is now leading to joint programmes that see two communities, the laser-plasma and the high-energy physics community working side by side for a common objective.
The idea of the Course emerged from this context, with the unique objective to give young scientists the opportunity to capture the best from both worlds of laser-plasma and accelerator physics, with intensive training and “hands-on” opportunities on the key aspects of laser-plasma acceleration. The lectures spanned from the secrets of lasers, to the power of numerical simulations, from the rock-solid know-how of beam dynamics, to the eluding world of laboratory plasmas, with the unique objective to establish a common knowledge for the future laser-plasma accelerator community.
The magnificent location of the School and the flawless and friendly local organization were key ingredients in successfully delivering such a demanding training programme to the audience, whose attention, interest and active participation was exceptionally high throughout the duration of the Course.
These Proceedings were prepared by the authors with the aim to provide a wider community with a reference in the wide range of topics, the knowledge of which will be needed in the future research on laser-plasma acceleration. This book also points at selected existing literature to which the reader is also redirected for further reading, from the founding papers of acceleration beyond the GeV (C.E. Clayton, Physical Review Letters, 2010).
F. Ferroni, L. A. Gizzi and R. Faccini