Compared to conventional gas pedals, plasma gas pedals are much more compact, and the effect of a few millimeters of plasma gas pedal is equivalent to hundreds of meters of conventional gas pedal.
However, plasma gas pedals have the disadvantage of being unstable.
A recent paper published in Physical Review X says it is possible to combine the advantages of both plasma gas pedals to create stable electron beams.
There are usually two types of plasma gas pedals.
One is the laser tail-wave field gas pedal, which uses a laser to create a region of inhomogeneous density in the plasma where the electric field (tail-wave field) accelerates electrons.
The other type is the plasma tail-wave field accelerator, which creates a tail-wave field with a beam of charged particles.
The former is more compact.
The latter has better stability of the electron beam, but requires the guidance of charged particles.
The researchers found that electrons accelerated by a laser tail-wave field gas pedal could be used to guide a plasma tail-wave field gas pedal, allowing for more stable and compact accelerated particles.