Visualization of relativistic laser pulses in underdense plasma

M. B. Schwab, E. Siminos, T. Heinemann, D. Ullmann, F. Karbstein, S. Kuschel, A. Sävert, M. Yeung, D. Hollatz, A. Seidel, J. Cole, S. P.D. Mangles, B. Hidding, M. Zepf, S. Skupin, M. C. Kaluza

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Abstract

We present experimental evidence of relativistic electron-cyclotron resonances (RECRs) in the vicinity of the relativistically intense pump laser of a laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA). The effects of the RECRs are visualized by imaging the driven plasma wave with a few-cycle, optical probe in transverse geometry. The probe experiences strong, spectrally dependent and relativistically modified birefringence in the vicinity of the pump that arises due to the plasma electrons' relativistic motion in the pump's electromagnetic fields. The spectral birefringence is strongly dependent on the local magnetic field distribution of the pump laser. Analysis and comparison to both 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations confirm the origin of the RECR effect and its appearance in experimental and simulated shadowgrams of the laser-plasma interaction. The RECR effect is relevant for any relativistic, magnetized plasma and in the case of LWFA could provide a nondestructive, in situ diagnostic for tracking the evolution of the pump's intensity distribution with propagation through tenuous plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032801
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review Accelerators and Beams
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • electromagnetic pumps
  • relativistic electron-cyclotron resonance
  • intense pump laser
  • underdenseplasma

Cite this

Schwab, M. B., Siminos, E., Heinemann, T., Ullmann, D., Karbstein, F., Kuschel, S., Sävert, A., Yeung, M., Hollatz, D., Seidel, A., Cole, J., Mangles, S. P. D., Hidding, B., Zepf, M., Skupin, S., & Kaluza, M. C. (2020). Visualization of relativistic laser pulses in underdense plasma. Physical Review Accelerators and Beams, 23(3), [032801]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevAccelBeams.23.032801