Electron and Proton Acceleration Using the 30 TW, 30 Fs Hercules Laser

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ProQuest, 2008 - 128 pages
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In a separate series of experiments proton generation from the interaction of a high intensity, high contrast laser incident upon submicron foils was described. The maximum proton energy from transparent dielectrics is shown to depend on the hydrogen content of the target material and not on the targets thickness. PIC simulations are used to show a two stages acceleration mechanism consisting of: (1) proton acceleration due to a ponderomotively induced charge separation at the front surface, and (2) an additional acceleration due to the target normal sheath. The observed effect was experimentally distinguished through target selection of hydrogen and non-hydrogen containing materials. It was observed that the maximum proton energy for hydrogen containing targets such as Mylar and CH was two times higher than for non-hydrogen containing targets such as Si3N4.

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Physics of High Intensity Laser Plasma Interactions
The UltraIntense Ultrahigh Contrast Hercules Laser System
Photonuclear Processes with QuasiMonoenergetic Electron
TwoStage Proton Acceleration from Hydrogen Containing
Relativistic Plasma Shutter for Ultraintense Laser Pulses

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