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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Mar 11;106(10):105001. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Current filamentation instability in laser wakefield accelerators.

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1
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103, USA. channing@umich.edu

Abstract

Experiments using an electron beam produced by laser-wakefield acceleration have shown that varying the overall beam-plasma interaction length results in current filamentation at lengths that exceed the laser depletion length in the plasma. Three-dimensional simulations show this to be a combination of hosing, beam erosion, and filamentation of the decelerated beam. This work suggests the ability to perform scaled experiments of astrophysical instabilities. Additionally, understanding the processes involved with electron beam propagation is essential to the development of wakefield accelerator applications.

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