Relativistic laser channeling in plasmas for fast ignition

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We report an experimental observation suggesting plasma channel formation by focusing a relativistic laser pulse into a long-scale-length preformed plasma. The channel direction coincides with the laser axis. Laser light transmittance measurement indicates laser channeling into the high-density plasma with relativistic self-focusing. A three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation reproduces the plasma channel and reveals that the collimated hot-electron beam is generated along the laser axis in the laser channeling. These findings hold the promising possibility of fast heating a dense fuel plasma with a relativistic laser pulse.




A. L. Lei et al, "Relativistic laser channeling in plasmas for fast ignition," Physical Review E 76, no. 6 (2007), doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.76.066403