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Formation and evolution of post-solitons following a high intensity laser-plasma interaction with a low-density foam target

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JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
DateSubmitted - 13 Feb 2021
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Apr 2021
DatePublished (current) - 18 May 2021
Issue number7
Number of pages11
Original languageEnglish


The formation and evolution of post-solitons has been discussed for quite some time both analytically and through the use of particle-in-cell (PIC) codes. It is however only recently that they have been directly observed in laser-plasma experiments. Relativistic electromagnetic (EM) solitons are localised structures that can occur in collisionless plasmas. They consist of a low-frequency EM wave trapped in a low electron number-density cavity surrounded by a shell with a higher electron number-density. Here we describe the results of an experiment in which a 100 TW Ti:sapphire laser (30 fs, 800 nm) irradiates a 0:03 gcm^-3 TMPTA foam target with a focused intensity I_l = 9:5x10^17 Wcm^-2. A third harmonic (lambda_probe ~ 266 nm) probe is employed to diagnose plasma motion for 25 ps after the main pulse interaction via Doppler-Spectroscopy. Both radiation-hydrodynamics and 2-D PIC simulations are performed to aid in the interpretation of the experimental results. We show that the rapid motion of the probe critical-surface observed in the experiment might be a signature of post-soliton wall motion.

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© 2021 The Author(s)

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