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 journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23529-23538
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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


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