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The interaction of a 3×1019 W/cm2 laser pulse with a metallic wire has been investigated using proton radiography. The pulse is observed to drive the propagation of a highly transient field along the wire at the speed of light. Within a temporal window of 20 ps, the current driven by this field rises to its peak magnitude ∼104 A before decaying to below measurable levels. Supported by particle-in-cell simulation results and simple theoretical reasoning, the transient field measured is interpreted as a charge-neutralizing disturbance propagated away from the interaction region as a result of the permanent loss of a small fraction of the laser-accelerated hot electron population to vacuum.
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 15 May 2009|
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KEY PHYSICS FOR INERTIAL CONFINEMENT DIAGNOSED BY ION EMISSION
EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
1/10/07 → 30/09/11