Date of this Version
The personnel who were supported by the grant included the P.I. (Prof. Umstadter), several research scientists (A. Maksimchuk and V. Yanovsky), a postdoc (P. Zhang) and several graduate and undergraduate students. Although there were several setbacks in developing the novel laser technology required to produce a monoenergetic beam of electrons from an all-optical accelerator, several important steps were taken towards reaching that ultimate goal. The most important outcome of this project was that we demonstrated the principle of optical control of laser accelerators, namely, that one laser pulse could modify the properties (e.g., emittance and electron number) of an electron beam accelerated by a separate but synchronized laser pulse. Another recent highlight was that, using our new 304s 10-TW laser system, we accelerated with a laser accelerator an electron beam with a record low divergence (0.2 degrees). This is more than 100 times lower than the 30-degree divergence that was reported recently by a French group using a laser with similar parameters [V. Malka et al., Science, 298, 1596 (2002)]. A detailed discussion of the results of the project are presented below.