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.
- energy transfer
- magnetic fields
- tunable magnetic fields
- laser light
Zheng, X., Weng, S., Ma, H., Wang, Y., Chen, M., McKenna, P., & Sheng, Z. (2019). Control of laser light by a plasma immersed in a tunable strong magnetic field. Optics Express, 27(16), 23529-23538. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.27.023529