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The merging process of current filaments in a strongly magnetized plasma is described. The evolution is calculated using a contour dynamics method, which accurately tracks piecewise constant distributions of the conserved quantities. In the interaction of two screened currents, both develop dipolar vortical flows, bringing the currents together. This is the(More)
The dynamics of the acceleration of a short electron bunch in a strong plasma wave excited by a laser pulse in a plasma channel is studied both analytically and numerically in slab geometry. In our simulations, a fully nonlinear, relativistic hydrodynamic description for the plasma wave is combined with particle-in-cell methods for the description of the(More)
A new regime of laser wakefield acceleration of an injected electron bunch is described. In this regime, the bunch charge is so high that the bunch wakefields play an important role in the bunch dynamics. In particular, the transverse bunch wakefield induces a strong self-focusing that suppresses the transverse emittance growth arising from misalignment(More)
A one-dimensional model for fast electron generation by an intense, nonevolving laser pulse propagating through an underdense plasma has been developed. Plasma wave breaking is considered to be the dominant mechanism behind this process, and wave breaking both in front of and behind the laser pulse is discussed. Fast electrons emerge as a short bunch, and(More)
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