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Experimental study of extended timescale dynamics of a plasma wakefield driven by a self-modulated proton bunch

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Plasma wakefield dynamics over timescales up to 800 ps, approximately 100 plasma periods, are studied experimentally at the Advanced Wakefield Experiment (AWAKE). The development of the longitudinal wakefield amplitude driven by a self-modulated proton bunch is measured using the external injection of witness electrons that sample the fields. In simulation, resonant excitation of the wakefield causes plasma electron trajectory crossing, resulting in the development of a potential outside the plasma boundary as electrons are transversely ejected. Trends consistent with the presence of this potential are experimentally measured and their dependence on wakefield amplitude are studied via seed laser timing scans and electron injection delay scans.