Control of laser light by a plasma immersed in a tunable strong magnetic field

Xiaolong Zheng, Suming Weng, Hanghang Ma, Yuanxiang Wang, Min Chen, Paul McKenna, Zhengming Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The interaction between laser light and an underdense plasma immersed in a spatio-temporally tunable magnetic field is studied analytically and numerically. The transversely nonuniform magnetic field can serve as a magnetic channel, which can act on laser propagation in a similar way to the density channel. The envelope equation for laser intensity evolution is derived, which contains the effects of magnetic channel and relativistic self-focusing. Due to the magnetic field applied, the critical laser power for relativistic self-focusing can be significantly reduced. Theory and particle-in-cell simulations show that a weakly relativistic laser pulse can propagate with a nearly constant peak intensity along the magnetic channel for a distance much longer than its Rayleigh length. By setting the magnetic field tunable in both space and time, the simulation further shows that the magnetized plasma can then act as a lens of varying focal length to control the movement of laser focal spot, decoupling the laser group velocity from the light speed c in vacuum.
LanguageEnglish
Pages23529-23538
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Volume27
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

magnetic fields
lasers
self focusing
light speed
nonuniform magnetic fields
group velocity
decoupling
envelopes
simulation
lenses
vacuum
propagation
pulses
cells
interactions

Keywords

  • energy transfer
  • magnetic fields
  • tunable magnetic fields
  • plasma
  • laser light

Cite this

Zheng, Xiaolong ; Weng, Suming ; Ma, Hanghang ; Wang, Yuanxiang ; Chen, Min ; McKenna, Paul ; Sheng, Zhengming. / Control of laser light by a plasma immersed in a tunable strong magnetic field. In: Optics Express. 2019 ; Vol. 27, No. 16. pp. 23529-23538.
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Control of laser light by a plasma immersed in a tunable strong magnetic field. / Zheng, Xiaolong ; Weng, Suming; Ma, Hanghang; Wang, Yuanxiang; Chen, Min; McKenna, Paul; Sheng, Zhengming.

In: Optics Express, Vol. 27, No. 16, 01.08.2019, p. 23529-23538.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Zheng, Xiaolong

AU - Weng, Suming

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AU - Sheng, Zhengming

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AB - The interaction between laser light and an underdense plasma immersed in a spatio-temporally tunable magnetic field is studied analytically and numerically. The transversely nonuniform magnetic field can serve as a magnetic channel, which can act on laser propagation in a similar way to the density channel. The envelope equation for laser intensity evolution is derived, which contains the effects of magnetic channel and relativistic self-focusing. Due to the magnetic field applied, the critical laser power for relativistic self-focusing can be significantly reduced. Theory and particle-in-cell simulations show that a weakly relativistic laser pulse can propagate with a nearly constant peak intensity along the magnetic channel for a distance much longer than its Rayleigh length. By setting the magnetic field tunable in both space and time, the simulation further shows that the magnetized plasma can then act as a lens of varying focal length to control the movement of laser focal spot, decoupling the laser group velocity from the light speed c in vacuum.

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