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Title: The analytic model of a laser-accelerated plasma target and its stability

A self-consistent kinetic theory of a laser-accelerated plasma target with distributed electron/ion densities is developed. The simplified model assumes that after an initial transition period the bulk of cold ions are uniformly accelerated by the self-consistent electric field generated by hot electrons trapped in combined ponderomotive and electrostatic potentials. Several distinct target regions (non-neutral ion tail, non-neutral electron sheath, and neutral plasma bulk) are identified and analytically described. It is shown analytically that such laser-accelerated finite-thickness target is susceptible to Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability. Particle-in-cell simulations of the seeded perturbations of the plasma target reveal that, for ultra-relativistic laser intensities, the growth rate of the RT instability is depressed from the analytic estimates.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Institute for Fusion Studies, University of Texas at Austin, One University Station C1500, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252119
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRONS; INSTABILITY; ION DENSITY; IONS; LASER TARGETS; LASERS; PERTURBATION THEORY; PLASMA; PONDEROMOTIVE FORCE; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SIMULATION; STABILITY; THICKNESS