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Title: First Observations of Laser-Driven Acceleration of Relativistic Electrons in a Semi-Infinite Vacuum Space

Abstract

We have observed acceleration of relativistic electrons in vacuum driven by a linearly polarized visible laser beam incident on a thin gold-coated reflective boundary. The observed energy modulation effect follows all the characteristics expected for linear acceleration caused by a longitudinal electric field. As predicted by the Lawson-Woodward theorem the laser driven modulation only appears in the presence of the boundary. It shows a linear dependence with the strength of the electric field of the laser beam and also it is critically dependent on the laser polarization. Finally, it appears to follow the expected angular dependence of the inverse transition radiation process. experiment as the Laser Electron Accelerator Project (LEAP).

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
876442
Report Number(s):
SLAC-PUB-11647
TRN: US200606%%659
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Contributed to2005 Particle Accelerator Conference, , 5/16/2005-5/20/2005
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; ACCELERATION; ACCELERATORS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRONS; LASERS; MODULATION; POLARIZATION; TRANSITION RADIATION; Accelerators,ACCPHY

Citation Formats

Plettner, T., Byer, R.L., Smith, T.I., /Stanford U., Phys. Dept., Colby, E., Cowan, B., Sears, C.M.S., Spencer, J.E., Siemann, R.H., and /SLAC. First Observations of Laser-Driven Acceleration of Relativistic Electrons in a Semi-Infinite Vacuum Space. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Plettner, T., Byer, R.L., Smith, T.I., /Stanford U., Phys. Dept., Colby, E., Cowan, B., Sears, C.M.S., Spencer, J.E., Siemann, R.H., & /SLAC. First Observations of Laser-Driven Acceleration of Relativistic Electrons in a Semi-Infinite Vacuum Space. United States.
Plettner, T., Byer, R.L., Smith, T.I., /Stanford U., Phys. Dept., Colby, E., Cowan, B., Sears, C.M.S., Spencer, J.E., Siemann, R.H., and /SLAC. Fri . "First Observations of Laser-Driven Acceleration of Relativistic Electrons in a Semi-Infinite Vacuum Space". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/876442.
@article{osti_876442,
title = {First Observations of Laser-Driven Acceleration of Relativistic Electrons in a Semi-Infinite Vacuum Space},
author = {Plettner, T. and Byer, R.L. and Smith, T.I. and /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. and Colby, E. and Cowan, B. and Sears, C.M.S. and Spencer, J.E. and Siemann, R.H. and /SLAC},
abstractNote = {We have observed acceleration of relativistic electrons in vacuum driven by a linearly polarized visible laser beam incident on a thin gold-coated reflective boundary. The observed energy modulation effect follows all the characteristics expected for linear acceleration caused by a longitudinal electric field. As predicted by the Lawson-Woodward theorem the laser driven modulation only appears in the presence of the boundary. It shows a linear dependence with the strength of the electric field of the laser beam and also it is critically dependent on the laser polarization. Finally, it appears to follow the expected angular dependence of the inverse transition radiation process. experiment as the Laser Electron Accelerator Project (LEAP).},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 17 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Feb 17 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

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  • We recently achieved the first experimental observation of laser-driven particle acceleration of relativistic electrons from a single Gaussian near-infrared laser beam in a semi-infinite vacuum. This article presents an in-depth account of key aspects of the experiment. An analysis of the transverse and longitudinal forces acting on the electron beam is included. A comparison of the observed data to the acceleration viewed as an inverse transition radiation process is presented. This is followed by a detailed description of the components of the experiment and a discussion of future measurements.
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  • We demonstrate a new particle acceleration mechanism using 800 nm laser radiation to accelerate relativistic electrons in a semi-infinite vacuum. The experimental demonstration is the first of its kind and is a proof of principle for the concept of laser-driven particle acceleration in a structure loaded vacuum. We observed up to 30 keV energy modulation over a distance of 1000{lambda}, corresponding to a 40 MeV/m peak gradient. The energy modulation was observed to scale linearly with the laser electric field and showed the expected laser-polarization dependence. Furthermore, as expected, laser acceleration occurred only in the presence of a boundary thatmore » limited the laser-electron interaction to a finite distance.« less
  • This article calculates the energy gain of a single relativistic electron interacting with a single gaussian beam that is terminated by a metallic reflector at normal incidence by two different methods: the electric field integral along the path of the electron, and the overlap integral of the transition radiation pattern from the conductive foil with the laser beam. It is shown that for this instance the two calculation methods yield the same expression for the expected energy change of the electron.