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Electrostatic shock acceleration of ions in near-critical-density plasma driven by a femtosecond petawatt laser

Abstract : With the recent advances in ultrahigh intensity lasers, exotic astrophysical phenomena can be investigated in laboratory environments. Collisionless shock in a plasma, prevalent in astrophysical events, is produced when a strong electric or electromagnetic force induces a shock structure in a time scale shorter than the collision time of charged particles. A near-critical-density (NCD) plasma, generated with an intense femtosecond laser, can be utilized to excite a collisionless shock due to its efficient and rapid energy absorption. We present electrostatic shock acceleration (ESA) in experiments performed with a high-density helium gas jet, containing a small fraction of hydrogen, irradiated with a 30 fs, petawatt laser. The onset of ESA exhibited a strong dependence on plasma density, consistent with the result of particle-in-cell simulations on relativistic plasma dynamics. The mass-dependent ESA in the NCD plasma, confirmed by the preferential reflection of only protons with two times the shock velocity, opens a new possibility of selective acceleration of ions by electrostatic shock.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03010996
Contributor : Inspire Hep <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 10:30:53 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 11:15:21 PM

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Prashant Kumar Singh, Vishwa Bandhu Pathak, Jung Hun Shin, Il Woo Choi, Kazuhisa Nakajima, et al.. Electrostatic shock acceleration of ions in near-critical-density plasma driven by a femtosecond petawatt laser. Sci.Rep., 2020, 10 (1), pp.18452. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-75455-1⟩. ⟨hal-03010996⟩

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