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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2012 Aug;86(2 Pt 2):026404. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Time dependence of fast electron beam divergence in ultraintense laser-plasma interactions.

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  • 1The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


We report on the measurement and computer simulation of the divergence of fast electrons generated in an ultraintense laser-plasma interaction (LPI) and the subsequent propagation in a nonrefluxing target. We show that, at Iλ(2) of 10(20) Wcm(-2)μm(2), the time-integrated electron beam full divergence angle is (60±5)°. However, our time-resolved 2D particle-in-cell simulations show the initial beam divergence to be much smaller (≤30°). Our simulations show the divergence to monotonically increase with time, reaching a final value of (68±7)° after the passage of the laser pulse, consistent with the experimental time-integrated measurements. By revealing the time-dependent nature of the LPI, we find that a substantial fraction of the laser energy (~7%) is transported up to 100 μm with a divergence of 32°.

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