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New developments in energy transfer and transport studies in relativistic laser-plasma interactions

Norreys, P. A. and Green, J. S. and Lancaster, K. L. and Robinson, A. P. L. and Scott, R. H. H. and Perez, F. and Schlenvoight, H-P and Baton, S. and Hulin, S. and Vauzour, B. and Santos, J. J. and Adams, D. J. and Markey, K. and Ramakrishna, B. and Zepf, M. and Quinn, M. N. and Yuan, X. H. and McKenna, P. and Schreiber, J. and Davies, J. R. and Higginson, D. P. and Beg, F. N. and Chen, C. and Ma, T. and Patel, P. (2010) New developments in energy transfer and transport studies in relativistic laser-plasma interactions. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 52 (12). -. ISSN 0741-3335

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Abstract

Two critical issues related to the success of fast ignition inertial fusion have been vigorously investigated in a co-ordinated campaign in the European Union and the United States. These are the divergence of the fast electron beam generated in intense, PW laser-plasma interactions and the fast electron energy transport with the use of high intensity contrast ratio laser pulses. Proof is presented that resistivity gradient-induced magnetic fields can guide fast electrons over significant distances in (initially) cold metallic targets. Comparison of experiments undertaken in both France and the United States suggests that an important factor in obtaining efficient coupling into dense plasma is the irradiation with high intensity contrast ratio laser pulses, rather than the colour of the laser pulse itself.