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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Jul 10;115(2):025002. Epub 2015 Jul 8.

Relativistic Plasma Polarizer: Impact of Temperature Anisotropy on Relativistic Transparency.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
2
Institute for Fusion Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
3
Center for High Energy Density Science, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
4
Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Tehsil Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh 201 314, India.

Abstract

3D particle-in-cell simulations demonstrate that the enhanced transparency of a relativistically hot plasma is sensitive to how the energy is partitioned between different degrees of freedom. For an anisotropic electron distribution, propagation characteristics, like the critical density, will depend on the polarization of the electromagnetic wave. Despite the onset of the Weibel instability in such plasmas, the anisotropy can persist long enough to affect laser propagation. This plasma can then function as a polarizer or a wave plate to dramatically alter the pulse polarization.

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