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Plasma density gradients in a gas jet were used to control the wake phase velocity and trapping threshold in a laser wakefield accelerator, producing stable electron bunches with longitudinal and transverse momentum spreads more than 10 times lower than in previous experiments (0.17 and 0.02 MeV/c FWHM, respectively) and with central momenta of 0.76+/-0.02(More)
It has been found that for a focused laser beam propagating in free space, there exists, surrounding the laser beam axis, a subluminous wave phase velocity region. Relativistic electrons injected into this region can be trapped in the acceleration phase and remain in phase with the laser field for sufficiently long times, thereby receiving considerable(More)
Laser-driven accelerators, in which particles are accelerated by the electric field of a plasma wave (the wakefield) driven by an intense laser, have demonstrated accelerating electric fields of hundreds of GV m(-1) (refs 1-3). These fields are thousands of times greater than those achievable in conventional radio-frequency accelerators, spurring interest(More)
Coherent radiation in the 0.3-3 THz range has been generated from femtosecond electron bunches at a plasma-vacuum boundary via transition radiation. The bunches produced by a laser-plasma accelerator contained 1.5 nC of charge. The THz energy per pulse within a limited 30 mrad collection angle was 3-5 nJ and scaled quadratically with bunch charge,(More)
The temporal profile of relativistic laser-plasma-accelerated electron bunches has been characterized. Coherent transition radiation at THz frequencies, emitted at the plasma-vacuum boundary, was measured through electro-optic sampling. Frequencies up to the crystal detection limit of 4 THz were observed. Comparison between data and theory indicates that(More)
Multi-GeV electron beams with energy up to 4.2 GeV, 6% rms energy spread, 6 pC charge, and 0.3 mrad rms divergence have been produced from a 9-cm-long capillary discharge waveguide with a plasma density of ≈7×10¹⁷ cm⁻³, powered by laser pulses with peak power up to 0.3 PW. Preformed plasma waveguides allow the use of lower laser power compared to unguided(More)
The transverse dynamics of a 28.5-GeV electron beam propagating in a 1.4 m long, (0-2)x10(14) cm(-3) plasma are studied experimentally in the underdense or blowout regime. The transverse component of the wake field excited by the short electron bunch focuses the bunch, which experiences multiple betatron oscillations as the plasma density is increased. The(More)
X-ray spectroscopy is used to obtain single-shot information on electron beam emittance in a low-energy-spread 0.5 GeV-class laser-plasma accelerator. Measurements of betatron radiation from 2 to 20 keV used a CCD and single-photon counting techniques. By matching x-ray spectra to betatron radiation models, the electron bunch radius inside the plasma is(More)
Unphysical heating and macroparticle trapping that arise in the numerical modeling of laser wakefield accelerators using particle-in-cell codes are investigated. A dark current free laser wakefield accelerator stage, in which no trapping of background plasma electrons into the plasma wave should occur, and a highly nonlinear cavitated wake with(More)