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Gamma-ray production from resonant betatron oscillations of accelerated electrons in a plasma wake

Cipiccia, Silvia and Islam, Mohammad and Ersfeld, Bernhard and Welsh, Gregor and Brunetti, Enrico and Vieux, Gregory and Yang, Xue and Wiggins, Samuel and Grant, Peter Anderson and Reboredo Gil, David and Grant, David William and Shanks, Richard and Issac, Riju and Anania, Maria Pia and Maneuski, Dzmitry and Montgomery, Rachel and Smith, Gary and Hoek, Matthias and Hamilton, David J. and Symes, Dan and Rajeev, Pattathil P. and O'Shea, V. and Dias, João M. and Lemos, Nuno R. C. and Jaroszynski, Dino (2015) Gamma-ray production from resonant betatron oscillations of accelerated electrons in a plasma wake. In: Proceedings of SPIE. SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering.. ISBN 9781628426336

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Abstract

The laser-plasma wakefield accelerator is a novel ultra-compact particle accelerator. A very intense laser pulse focused onto plasma can excites plasma density waves. Electrons surfing these waves can be accelerated to very high energies with unprecedented accelerating gradients in excess of 1 GV/cm. While accelerating, electrons undergo transverse betatron oscillations and emit synchrotron-like x-ray radiation into a narrow on-axis cone, which is enhanced when electrons interact with the electromagnetic field of the laser. In this case, the laser can resonantly drive the electron motion, lading to direct laser acceleration. This occurs when the betatron frequency matches the Doppler down-shifted frequency of the laser. As a consequence, the number of photons emitted is strongly enhanced and the critical photon energy is increases to 100’s of keV