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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Nov 27;111(22):225002. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Filamentation instability of counterstreaming laser-driven plasmas.

Author information

1
Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA.
2
Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14623, USA and Fusion Science Center for Extreme States of Matter, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14623, USA.
3
Department of Astrophysical Sciences and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey 08543, USA.
4
Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14623, USA.

Abstract

Filamentation due to the growth of a Weibel-type instability was observed in the interaction of a pair of counterstreaming, ablatively driven plasma flows, in a supersonic, collisionless regime relevant to astrophysical collisionless shocks. The flows were created by irradiating a pair of opposing plastic (CH) foils with 1.8 kJ, 2-ns laser pulses on the OMEGA EP Laser System. Ultrafast laser-driven proton radiography was used to image the Weibel-generated electromagnetic fields. The experimental observations are in good agreement with the analytical theory of the Weibel instability and with particle-in-cell simulations.

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