A table-top particle accelerator?

It could be the perfect Christmas gift for physics geeks: a table-top particle accelerator. Injecting laser beams into a plasma can create huge electric fields that accelerate the plasma’s electrons to high energies over relatively short distances. Till now, the energy of the electron beams has been hard to control, but a team led by Victor Malka at the Institute of Technology in Palaiseau, France, has solved the problem by using intersecting beams from two carefully tuned lasers. At the point where they cross, the beams create a stable wave in the plasma,
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