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The experimental arrangement for the investigation of high-field laser-induced processes using a broadband proton probe beam has been modified to enable the detection of the ultrafast motion of field fronts. It is typical in such experiments for the target to be oriented perpendicularly with respect to the principal axis of the probe beam. It is demonstrated here, however, that the temporal imaging properties of the diagnostic arrangement are altered drastically by placing the axis (or plane) of the target at an oblique angle to the transverse plane of the probe beam. In particular, the detection of the motion of a laser-driven field front along a wire at a velocity of (0.95 +/- 0.05)c is described.
- laser irradiation