Laboratory visualization of laser-driven plasma accelerators in the bubble regime

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Laboratory visualization of laser-driven plasma accelerators in the bubble regime

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dc.contributor.advisor Downer, Michael Coffin
dc.creator Dong, Peng
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-01T19:52:55Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-01T19:52:55Z
dc.date.created 2010-08
dc.date.issued 2011-08-01
dc.date.submitted August 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2010-08-1881
dc.description.abstract Accurate single-shot visualization of laser wakefield structures can improve our fundamental understanding of plasma-based accelerators. Previously, frequency domain holography (FDH) was used to visualize weakly nonlinear sinusoidal wakes in plasmas of density n[subscript e] < 0.6 × 10¹⁹/cm³ that produced few or no relativistic electrons. Here, I address the more challenging task of visualizing highly nonlinear wakes in plasmas of density n[subscript e] ~ 1 to 3× 10¹⁹/cm³ that can produce high-quality relativistic electron beams. Nonlinear wakes were driven by 30 TW, 30 fs, 800 nm pump pulses. When bubbles formed, part of a 400 nm, co-propagating, overlapping probe pulse became trapped inside them, creating a light packet of plasma wavelength dimensions--that is, an optical "bullet"--that I reconstruct by FDH methods. As ne increased, the bullets first appeared at 0.8 × 10¹⁹/cm³, the first observation of bubble formation below the electron capture threshold. WAKE simulations confirmed bubble formation without electron capture and the trapping of optical bullets at this density. At n[subscript] >1× 10¹⁹/cm³, bullets appeared with high shot-to-shot stability together with quasi-monoenergetic relativistic electrons. I also directly observed the temporal walk-off of the optical bullet from the beam-loaded plasma bubble revealed by FDH phase shift data, providing unprecedented visualization of the electron injection and beam loading processes. There are five chapters in this thesis. Chapter 1 introduces general laser plasma- based accelerators (LPA). Chapter 2 discusses the FDH imaging technique, including the setup and reconstruction process. In 2006, Dr. N. H. Matlis used FDH to image a linear plasma wakefield. His work is also presented in Chapter 2 but with new analyses. Chapter 3, the main part of the thesis, discusses the visualization of LPAs in the bubble regime. Chapter 4 presents the concept of frequency domain tomography. Chapter 5 suggests future directions for research in FDH.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject Lasers
dc.subject Plasma accelerators
dc.subject Electrons
dc.subject Holography
dc.subject Laser wakefield structures
dc.subject Plasma-based accelerators
dc.subject Direct laser acceleration
dc.subject Laser-plasma electron acceleration
dc.subject Frequency-domain holography
dc.title Laboratory visualization of laser-driven plasma accelerators in the bubble regime
dc.date.updated 2011-08-01T19:53:43Z
dc.identifier.slug 2152/ETD-UT-2010-08-1881
dc.contributor.committeeMember Becker, Michael
dc.contributor.committeeMember Ditmire, Todd
dc.contributor.committeeMember Lang, Karol
dc.contributor.committeeMember Shvets, Gennady
dc.description.department Physics
dc.type.genre thesis
dc.type.material text
thesis.degree.department Physics
thesis.degree.discipline Physics
thesis.degree.grantor University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy

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