Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Published in Physics of Plasmas 6:12 (Dec 1999), pp. 4739=4749. © 1999 American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.
Physics of Plasmas is published monthly by the American Institute of Physics with the cooperation of The American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics;


The electron beam generated in a self-modulated laser-wakefield accelerator is characterized in detail. A transverse normalized emittance of 0.06 π mm mrad, the lowest ever for an electron injector, was measured for 2 MeV electrons. The electron beam was observed to have a multicomponent beam profile and energy distribution. The latter also undergoes discrete transitions as the laser power or plasma density is varied. In addition, dark spots that form regular modes were observed in the electron beam profile. These features are explained by analysis and test particle simulations of electron dynamics during acceleration in a three-dimensional plasma wakefield.

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