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Journals and Conferences
High-power lasers that fit into a university-scale laboratory can now reach focused intensities of more than 10(19) W cm(-2) at high repetition rates. Such lasers are capable of producing beams of energetic electrons, protons and gamma-rays. Relativistic electrons are generated through the breaking of large-amplitude relativistic plasma waves created in the… (More)
The acceleration of electrons to approximately 0.8 GeV has been observed in a self-injecting laser wakefield accelerator driven at a plasma density of 5.5x10(18) cm(-3) by a 10 J, 55 fs, 800 nm laser pulse in the blowout regime. The laser pulse is found to be self-guided for 1 cm (>10zR), by measurement of a single filament containing >30% of the initial… (More)
A new design of pulse-contrast-measuring correlator, based on optical parametric amplification, is presented. It amplifies the wings of the pulse and allows high-contrast measurement with a low-sensitivity detector. The test system demonstrates an ability to measure a dynamic range of >10(11):1.
Laser-plasma wakefield-based electron accelerators are expected to deliver ultrashort electron bunches with unprecedented peak currents. However, their actual pulse duration has never been directly measured in a single-shot experiment. We present measurements of the ultrashort duration of such electron bunches by means of THz time-domain interferometry.… (More)
We report on an experimental study of the "coherent" contrast feature that frequently appears in petawatt(PW)-class laser pulses as an exponentially-rising pedestal within a few tens of picoseconds of the compressed pulse. We show that scattering from the diffraction gratings in the stretcher is the principal source of this feature. Replacing the gratings… (More)
We report the first experimental observation of a long-wavelength hosing modulation of a high-intensity laser pulse. Side-view images of the scattered optical radiation at the fundamental wavelength of the laser reveal a transverse oscillation of the laser pulse during its propagation through underdense plasma. The wavelength of the oscillation λ(hosing)… (More)
Measurements of proton emission have been made from a variety of solid targets irradiated by a 60-fs, 200-mJ, 7 x 10(18)-W cm(-2) laser system operating at 2 Hz. Optimum target conditions were found in terms of target material and thickness. For Mylar targets of thickness 20-40 microm, a maximum proton energy of 1.5 MeV was measured. For aluminum targets, a… (More)
We demonstrate experimentally that the "coherent" contrast pedestal in compressed pulses from CPA lasers originates from the diffraction gratings in the pulse stretcher. The pedestal intensity correlates with the level of scatter from the gratings.
Electron-ion recombination in a laser-induced electron recollision is of fundamental importance as the underlying mechanism responsible for the generation of high-harmonic radiation and hence for the production of attosecond pulse trains in the extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray spectral regions. By using an ion beam target, remotely prepared to be… (More)
The interaction of an intense laser field with a beam of atomic ions has been investigated experimentally for the first time. The ionization dynamics of Ar+ ions and Ar neutrals in a 60 fs, 790 nm laser pulse have been compared and contrasted at intensities up to 10(16) W cm-2. Our results show that nonsequential ionization from an Ar+ target is strongly… (More)