Multi-GeV Electron Generation Using Texas Petawatt Laser
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We present simulation results and experimental setup for multi-GeV electron generation by a laser plasma wake field accelerator (LWFA) driven by the Texas Petawatt (TPW) laser. Simulations show that, in plasma of density n(e) = 2 - 4 x cm(-3), the TPW laser pulse (1.1 PW, 170 fs) can self-guide over 5 Rayleigh ranges, while electrons self-injected into the LWFA can accelerate up to 7 GeV. Optical diagnostic methods employed to observe the laser beam self-guiding, electron trapping and plasma bubble formation and evolution are discussed. Electron beam diagnostics, including optical transition radiation (OTR) and electron gamma ray shower (EGS) generation, are discussed as well.