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Title: Proton acceleration in a slow wakefield

Abstract

In this paper, we propose and analyze a mechanism to accelerate protons in a low-phase-velocity wakefield. The wakefield is shock-excited by the interaction of two counter-propagating laser pulses in a plasma density gradient. The laser pulses consist of a forward-propagating short pulse (less than a plasma period) and a counter-propagating long pulse. The beating of these pulses generates a slow forward-propagating wakefield that can trap and accelerate protons. The trapping and acceleration is accomplished by appropriately tapering both the plasma density and the amplitude of the backward-propagating pulse. An example is presented in which the trapping and accelerating wakefield has a phase velocity varying from V p h 0 to 0.15 c ( ~ 10 MeV proton energy ) over a distance of ~1 cm. The required laser intensities, pulse durations, pulse energies, and plasma densities are relatively modest. Instabilities such as the Raman instability are mitigated because of the large plasma density gradients. Finally, numerical solutions of the wakefield equation and simulations using turboWAVE are carried out to support our model.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Physics. Inst. for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics
  2. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Physics. Inst. for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics. Dept. of Electrical Engineering; Naval Research Lab. (NRL), Washington, DC (United States). Plasma Physics Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP)
OSTI Identifier:
1465960
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1361727
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0015516
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 110; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; kinematics; protons; chirping; plasma instabilities; laser plasma interactions; plasma waves; plasma density; electric fields; nonlinear dynamics

Citation Formats

Isaacs, Joshua, and Sprangle, Phillip. Proton acceleration in a slow wakefield. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4973642.
Isaacs, Joshua, & Sprangle, Phillip. Proton acceleration in a slow wakefield. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4973642.
Isaacs, Joshua, and Sprangle, Phillip. Mon . "Proton acceleration in a slow wakefield". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4973642. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1465960.
@article{osti_1465960,
title = {Proton acceleration in a slow wakefield},
author = {Isaacs, Joshua and Sprangle, Phillip},
abstractNote = {In this paper, we propose and analyze a mechanism to accelerate protons in a low-phase-velocity wakefield. The wakefield is shock-excited by the interaction of two counter-propagating laser pulses in a plasma density gradient. The laser pulses consist of a forward-propagating short pulse (less than a plasma period) and a counter-propagating long pulse. The beating of these pulses generates a slow forward-propagating wakefield that can trap and accelerate protons. The trapping and acceleration is accomplished by appropriately tapering both the plasma density and the amplitude of the backward-propagating pulse. An example is presented in which the trapping and accelerating wakefield has a phase velocity varying from Vph≈0 to ≈0.15 c (~10 MeV proton energy) over a distance of ~1 cm. The required laser intensities, pulse durations, pulse energies, and plasma densities are relatively modest. Instabilities such as the Raman instability are mitigated because of the large plasma density gradients. Finally, numerical solutions of the wakefield equation and simulations using turboWAVE are carried out to support our model.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4973642},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
issn = {0003-6951},
number = 2,
volume = 110,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {1}
}

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