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Photon acceleration in the amplified plasma density wake of two copropagating laser pulses

Raj, G. and Islam, M. R. and Ersfeld, B. and Jaroszynski, D. A. (2010) Photon acceleration in the amplified plasma density wake of two copropagating laser pulses. Physics of Plasmas, 17 (7). ISSN 1070-664X

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Abstract

Photon acceleration of a laser pulse occurs in a medium with a space and time-varying permittivity. Using Hamiltonian formulation, a theoretical study of the frequency upshift of a probe laser pulse, which is considered as a "quasiphoton" or "test particle," propagating through an amplified plasma density wake of two copropagating laser pulses, is presented. The linear superposition of wakefields studied using an analytical model shows that the presence of a controlling pulse amplifies the wake of a driver pulse. The amplified wake amplitude can be controlled by varying the delay between the two pulses. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations demonstrate wake superposition due to the two copropagating laser pulses. A phase space analysis shows that the probe photon can experience a significant frequency upshift in the amplified density wake. Furthermore, the range of photon frequencies trapped and accelerated is determined by the amplitude of the density wake.