World record for compact particle accelerator: Researchers ramp up energy of laser-plasma 'tabletop' accelerator
This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Using one of the most powerful lasers in the world, researchers have accelerated subatomic particles to the highest energies ever recorded from a compact accelerator. The team used a specialized petawatt laser and a charged-particle gas called plasma to get the particles up to speed. The setup is known as a laser-plasma accelerator, an emerging class of particle accelerators that physicists believe can shrink traditional, miles-long accelerators to machines that can fit on a table.