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Monday, October 26, 2015
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Simulation of Laser Wakefield Acceleration for Past and Future Experiments at the Texas Petawatt

Kathleen Weichman
University of Texas at Austin

Laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) produces fs-duration GeV electron bunches in one-thousandth the accelerating distance of a conventional RF accelerator. Increasing the total charge injected into and accelerated by the wakefield while preserving the quasi-monoenergetic nature of electron bunches is key to the future use of LWFA as a source of ultrashort hard X-rays for imaging applications. Experiments at the Texas Petawatt Laser Facility produced significantly more accelerated charge when the transverse laser intensity profile exhibited two well-defined hot spots than when the laser profile had only a single hot spot. I will discuss VORPAL particle-in-cell simulations of laser wakefield acceleration using two-Gaussian laser pulses fit to intensity data from previous experiments as well as plans for an upcoming experiment to implement a Faraday rotation imaging technique and to produce MeV X-rays via Compton backscattering.

Host: Gian Luca Delzanno