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High-intensity-laser-driven Z pinches

Beg, F.N. and Clark, E.L. and Wei, M.S. and Dangor, A.E. and Evans, R.G. and Gopal, A. and Lancaster, K.L. and Ledingham, K.W.D. and McKenna, P. and Norreys, P.A. and Tatarakis, M. and Zepf, M. and Krushelnick, K. (2004) High-intensity-laser-driven Z pinches. Physical Review Letters, 92 (9). 095001-1. ISSN 0031-9007

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Experiments were performed in which ultrahigh intensity laser pulses (I>5×1019 W cm-2) were used to irradiate thin wire targets. It was observed that such interactions generate a large number of relativistic electrons which escape the target and induce multimega ampere return currents within the wire. MHD instabilities can subsequently be observed in the pinching plasma along with field emission of electrons from nearby objects. Coherent optical transition radiation from adjacent objects was also observed.