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Scaling laws for laser–plasma interaction derived with photon kinetic theory

Reitsma, Albert and Jaroszynski, Dino and Trines, Raoul M. G. M. and Bingham, Robert (2004) Scaling laws for laser–plasma interaction derived with photon kinetic theory. In: STFC Central Laser Facility Annual Report 2004/05. STFC, pp. 87-89.

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In this report, we present a derivation of scaling laws for laser-plasma interaction in one-dimensional geometry, using photon kinetic theory. The interest in scaling laws arises from last year's experimental results on mono-energetic electron acceleration with the Astra laser. These results are considered a major breakthrough for laser-plasma accelerated electron bunches in terms of beam quality. Previously, the energy spectra were found to be typically Maxwellian, which made laser-plasma based electron sources of limited interest for applications. After the successful demonstration of mono- energetic acceleration, it is timely to address, among various other issues, the scalability to different laser and plasma parameters. The choice of photon kinetic theory for developing the scaling laws is motivated by its simplicity and the useful analogies between laser pulses and electron beams interacting with plasma due to the phase space representation of the electromagnetic field . The results presented in this paper are preliminary in the sense that only the laser pulse evolution is considered, not the electron acceleration. Also, we are planning to extend the model to three-dimensional geometry.