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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Gamma-rays from harmonically resonant betatron oscillations in a plasma wake

Cipiccia, Silvia and Islam, Mohammad and Ersfeld, Bernhard and Shanks, Richard and Brunetti, Enrico and Vieux, Gregory and Yang, Xue and Issac, Riju and Wiggins, Samuel and Welsh, Gregor and Anania, Maria Pia and Maneuski, Dzmitry and Montgomery, Rachel and Smith, Gary and Hoek, Matthias and Hamilton, David J. and Lemos, Nuno R. C. and Symes, Dan and Rajeev, Pattathil P. and Shea, Val O. and Dias, João M. and Jaroszynski, Dino A. (2011) Gamma-rays from harmonically resonant betatron oscillations in a plasma wake. Nature Physics, 7. pp. 867-871. ISSN 1745-2473

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Abstract

An intense laser pulse in a plasma can accelerate electrons1, 2, 3, 4 to GeV energies in centimetres5, 6, 7. Transverse betatron motion8, 9 in the plasma wake results in X-ray photons with an energy that depends on the electron energy, oscillation amplitude and frequency of the betatron motion10, 11, 12. Betatron X-rays from laser-accelerator electrons have hitherto been limited to spectra peaking between 1 and 10 keV (ref. 13). Here we show that the betatron amplitude is resonantly enhanced when electrons interact with the rear of the laser pulse14, 15. At high electron energy, resonance occurs when the laser frequency is a harmonic of the betatron frequency, leading to a significant increase in the photon energy. 108 gamma-ray photons, with spectra peaking between 20 and 150 keV, and a peak brilliance >1023 photons s−1 mrad−2 mm−2 per 0.1% bandwidth, are measured for 700 MeV beams, with 107 photons emitted between 1 and 7 MeV. Femtosecond duration gamma-rays may find uses in imaging, isotope production, probing dense matter, homeland security and nuclear physics16.