Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published by American Physical Society. Physical Review Letters 84, 5324 (2000). Copyright © 2000 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


Reported are interactions of high-intensity laser pulses ( λ = 810 nm and l≤3×1018 W/cm2) with plasmas in a new parameter regime, in which the pulse duration ( τ = 29 fs) corresponds to 0.6–2.6 plasma periods. Relativistic filamentation is observed to cause laser-beam breakup and scattering of the beam out of the vacuum propagation angle. A beam of megaelectronvolt electrons with divergence angle as small as 1° is generated in the forward direction, which is correlated to the growth of the relativistic filamentation. Raman scattering, however, is found to be much less than previous long-pulse results.

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