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Abstract
We derive a theoretical model for the RayleighTaylor (RT)like instability for a thin foil accelerated by an intense laser, taking into account finite wavelength effects in the laser wave field. The latter leads to the diffraction of the electromagnetic wave off the periodic structures arising from the instability of the foil, which significantly modifies the growth rate of the RTlike instability when the perturbations on the foil have wavenumbers comparable to or larger than the laser wavenumber. In particular, the growth rate has a local maximum at a perturbation wavenumber approximately equal to the laser wavenumber.
The standard RT instability, arising from a pressure difference between the two sides of a foil, is approximately recovered for perturbation wavenumbers smaller than the laser wavenumber. Differences in the results for circular and linear polarization of the laser light are pointed out. The model has significance to radiation pressure acceleration of thin foils, where RTlike instabilities are significant obstacles.
The standard RT instability, arising from a pressure difference between the two sides of a foil, is approximately recovered for perturbation wavenumbers smaller than the laser wavenumber. Differences in the results for circular and linear polarization of the laser light are pointed out. The model has significance to radiation pressure acceleration of thin foils, where RTlike instabilities are significant obstacles.
Original language  English 

Article number  033026 
Number of pages  7 
Journal  New Journal of Physics 
Volume  17 
Issue number  3 
Early online date  12 Mar 2015 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  31 Mar 2015 
Keywords
 thin foil
 finite wavelength intense laser
 conducting foil
 RayleighTaylor instability
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Projects
 1 Finished

MultiScale Numerical Modelling of Magnetised Plasma Turbulence
Eliasson, B., Phelps, A. & Ronald, K.
EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
26/01/15 → 25/07/18
Project: Research