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A theory that describes how to load negative charge into a nonlinear, three-dimensional plasma wakefield is presented. In this regime, a laser or an electron beam blows out the plasma electrons and creates a nearly spherical ion channel, which is modified by the presence of the beam load. Analytical solutions for the fields and the shape of the ion channel(More)
The interaction of intense lasers with solid matter generates a hot plasma state that is well described by the Vlasov–Fokker–Planck equation. Accurate and efficient modeling of the physics in these scenarios is highly pertinent, because it relates to experimental campaigns to produce energy by inertial confinement fusion on facilities such as the National(More)
The dynamics of plasma electrons in the focus of a petawatt laser beam are studied via measurements of their x-ray synchrotron radiation. With increasing laser intensity, a forward directed beam of x rays extending to 50 keV is observed. The measured x rays are well described in the synchrotron asymptotic limit of electrons oscillating in a plasma channel.(More)
In 2004, using a 3D particle-in-cell ͑PIC͒ model ͓F. ͑2004͔͒, it was predicted that a 16.5 TW, 50 fs laser propagating through nearly 0.5 cm of 3 ϫ 10 18 cm −3 preformed plasma channel would generate a monoenergetic bunch of electrons with a central energy of 240 MeV after 0.5 cm of propagation. In addition, electrons out to 840 MeV were seen if the laser(More)
Ion acceleration by the interaction of an ultraintense short-pulse laser with an underdense-plasma has been studied at intensities up to 3 x 10(20) W/cm(2). Helium ions having a maximum energy of 13.2+/-1.0 MeV were measured at an angle of 100 degrees from the laser propagation direction. The maximum ion energy scaled with plasma density as(More)
We consider how an unmagnetized plasma responds to an incoming flux of energetic electrons. We assume a return current is present and allow for the incoming electrons to have a different transverse temperature than the return current. To analyze this configuration we present a nonrelativistic theory of the current-filamentation or Weibel instability for(More)
A comprehensive examination of the interaction of a picosecond-long ignition pulse on high-density (40 times critical density) pellets using a two-dimensional particle-in-cell model is described. The global geometry consists of a 50 mum diameter pellet surrounded by a corona which is isolated by a vacuum region from the boundary. For cone-attached targets,(More)
Accelerators are the largest and most costly scientific instruments of the Department of Energy, with uses across a broad range of science, including colliders for particle physics and nuclear science and light sources and neutron sources for materials studies. COMPASS, the Community Petascale Project for Accelerator Science and Simulation, is a broad,(More)
Self-guiding of an ultraintense laser requires the refractive index to build up rapidly to a sufficient value before the main body of the pulse passes by. We show that placing a low-intensity precursor in front of the main pulse mitigates the diffraction of its leading edge and facilitates reaching a self-guided state that remains stable for more than 10(More)