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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Laser steering of particle beams: Refraction and reflection of particle beams


The co-propagation of an intense particle beam with an ionizing laser beam in a working gas/plasma is considered. When the axes of the laser and particle beam are not aligned, then asymmetric plasma lensing results in a net dipole field acting on the particle beam. The particle beam can be steered or bent (as well as focused) by steering the laser. An analogy is made between the bending of the particle beam by collective effects at a plasma boundary and the refraction or reflection of light at an interface. This mechanism of particle steering may be of interest in applications for which permanent magnets are inconvenient of a fast turn on is required. 3-D particle-in-cell simulations and relevance to a recent experiment are discussed.

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