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Observation of Betatron X-Ray Radiation in a Self-Modulated Laser Wakefield Accelerator Driven with Picosecond Laser Pulses.

  • Author(s): Albert, F
  • Lemos, N
  • Shaw, JL
  • Pollock, BB
  • Goyon, C
  • Schumaker, W
  • Saunders, AM
  • Marsh, KA
  • Pak, A
  • Ralph, JE
  • Martins, JL
  • Amorim, LD
  • Falcone, RW
  • Glenzer, SH
  • Moody, JD
  • Joshi, C
  • et al.
Abstract

We investigate a new regime for betatron x-ray emission that utilizes kilojoule-class picosecond lasers to drive wakes in plasmas. When such laser pulses with intensities of ∼5×10^{18}  W/cm^{2} are focused into plasmas with electron densities of ∼1×10^{19}  cm^{-3}, they undergo self-modulation and channeling, which accelerates electrons up to 200 MeV energies and causes those electrons to emit x rays. The measured x-ray spectra are fit with a synchrotron spectrum with a critical energy of 10-20 keV, and 2D particle-in-cell simulations were used to model the acceleration and radiation of the electrons in our experimental conditions.

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