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Fast electron propagation in high density plasmas created by shock wave compression

Santos, J.J. and Batani, D. and McKenna, P. and Baton, S.D. and Dorchies, F. and Dubrouil, A. and Fourment, C. and Hulin, S. (2009) Fast electron propagation in high density plasmas created by shock wave compression. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 51 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 0741-3335

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We present one of the first results of relativistic laser intensities of the transport of fast electrons in high density and warm plasmas. The fast electrons are produced by the interaction of 40 J, 1 ps, 5 × 1019 W cm−2 laser pulses with solid foil targets. A 200 J, 1.5 ns laser focalized over a 500 µm diameter zone on the opposite side of the foil is used to create a shock propagating through and compressing the target to 2-3 times its solid density before the relativistic interaction. For both the solid and the compressed cases, the fast electron transport divergence and range are investigated, via the Kα emission from an embedded copper layer, for a conducting (aluminium) and an insulating (plastic) target material.