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Simulation of density measurements in plasma wakefields using photon acceleration

Kasim, Muhammad Firmansyah and Ratan, Naren and Ceurvorst, Luke and Sadler, James and Burrows, Philip N. and Trines, Raoul and Holloway, James and Wing, Matthew and Bingham, Robert and Norreys, Peter (2015) Simulation of density measurements in plasma wakefields using photon acceleration. Physical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams, 18 (3). ISSN 1098-4402

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Abstract

One obstacle in plasma accelerator development is the limitation of techniques to diagnose and measure plasma wakefield parameters. In this paper, we present a novel concept for the density measurement of a plasma wakefield using photon acceleration, supported by extensive particle in cell simulations of a laser pulse that copropagates with a wakefield. The technique can provide the perturbed electron density profile in the laser's reference frame, averaged over the propagation length, to be accurate within 10%. We discuss the limitations that affect the measurement: small frequency changes, photon trapping, laser displacement, stimulated Raman scattering, and laser beam divergence. By considering these processes, one can determine the optimal parameters of the laser pulse and its propagation length. This new technique allows a characterization of the density perturbation within a plasma wakefield accelerator.