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Relevance of Plasma Science to Particle Accelerators


In following the theme of this Symposium, "Plasma Science and Its Applications," we may be suggesting to some readers that the "other" applications of Plasma Science somehow justify the existence of a field traditionally devoted to fusion energy. In fact, we do not believe that plasma science can or should be justified for its spin-off contributions. Nevertheless, the unity of science would be seriously threatened by a precipitous decline in the support for plasma science. It is that unity which repeatedly has been verified as one looks for how advances in one field are crucial to several other seemingly fundamentally different fields. Thus it is in this case, as a representative of the community of Particle Accelerator Scientists, that we show four significant areas in which the methods and the results of plasma science have been applied to Accelerator Science. We have deliberately skipped plasma ion sources which are perhaps the most obvious application of plasmas to accelerators. Two of our four examples are cases in which the computational methods of plasma science have been adopted, and two are examples in which the plasmas themselves are employed. One of each category are now actively in use and the other one in each category is being used to develop or design new devices.

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