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Formation of Optical Bullets in Laser-Driven Plasma Bubble Accelerators
Physical Review Letters (2010)
  • Peng Dong
  • Steven A. Reed
  • Sunghwan A. Yi
  • Serguei Y. Kalmykov
  • Gennady Shvets
  • Michael C. Downer
  • Nicholas H. Matlis
  • Wim P. Leemans
  • Christopher McGuffey
  • Stepan S. Bulanov
  • Vladimir Chvykov
  • Galina Kalintchenko
  • Karl Krushelnick
  • Anatoly Maksimchuk
  • Takeshi Matsuoka
  • Alexander G. R. Thomas
  • Victor Yanovsky

Electron density bubbles—wake structures generated in plasma of density n_{e} ~ 10^{19} cm^{-3} by the light pressure of intense ultrashort laser pulses—are shown to reshape weak copropagating probe pulses into optical ‘‘bullets.’’ The bullets are reconstructed using frequency-domain interferometric techniques in order to visualize bubble formation. Bullets are confined in three dimensions to plasma-wavelength size, and exhibit higher intensity, broader spectrum and flatter temporal phase than surrounding probe light, evidence of their compression by the bubble. Bullets observed at 0.8 < n_{e} < 1.2 x 10^{19} cm^{-3} provide the first observation of bubble formation below the electron capture threshold. At higher n_{e}, bullets appear with high shot-to-shot stability together with relativistic electrons that vary widely in spectrum, and help relate bubble formation to fast electron generation.

  • Laser wakefield acceleration,
  • blowout regime,
  • frequency-domain shadowgraphy
Publication Date
Spring April 2, 2010
Citation Information
Peng Dong, Steven A. Reed, Sunghwan A. Yi, Serguei Y. Kalmykov, et al.. "Formation of Optical Bullets in Laser-Driven Plasma Bubble Accelerators" Physical Review Letters Vol. 104 (2010)
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