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Proceedings Paper

Probing plasma wakefield using femtosecond relativistic electron bunches (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Wei Lu; Jianfei Hua

Paper Abstract

Light-speed moving wakefield structure in a laser plasma accelerator is directly observed and quantitatively reconstructed using an ultrashort relativistic electron probe in a single shot. The stable electron probes utilized here are directly generated through laser wakefield acceleration via ionization injection. As the probe bunch traverses the wake, its momentum is modulated by the electric field of the wake, leading to a density variation of the probe after free-space propagation. From the density image of the probe, the local plasma wavelength, the wake width and the electric field in linear wakes can be accurately calculated, leading to the first observation of plasma wakes at the density as low as 1017 cm-3. Furthermore, detailed features of multiple wakes excited by a laser with the aberrated profile are observed and confirmed by 3D PIC simulations. By varying the time delay between the driving laser and the probe, time-resolved observation of the wake evolution (excitation, propagation, and damping) can be readily obtained, and this suggests that ultrafast electron probe can be a powerful new tool for the study of wakefield acceleration. The method is particularly well suited for visualizing linear wakefields that can accelerate both electrons and positrons as well as collective fields associated with shocks and instabilities in plasmas and warm dense matter.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 2017
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 10240, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions IV, 102400J (9 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2267277
Show Author Affiliations
Wei Lu, Tsinghua Univ. (China)
Jianfei Hua, Tsinghua Univ. (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10240:
Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions IV
Eric Esarey; Carl B. Schroeder; Florian J. Grüner, Editor(s)

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