Modelling the effects of the radiation reaction force on the interaction of thin foils with ultra-intense laser fields

Duff, M J and Capdessus, R and Del Sorbo, D and Ridgers, C P and King, M and McKenna, P (2018) Modelling the effects of the radiation reaction force on the interaction of thin foils with ultra-intense laser fields. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. ISSN 0741-3335 (In Press)

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    Abstract

    The effects of the radiation reaction (RR) force on thin foils undergoing radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) are investigated. Using QED-particle-in-cell simulations, the infuence of the RR force on the collective electron dynamics within the target can be examined. The magnitude of the RR force is found to be strongly dependent on the target thickness, leading to effects which can be observed on a macroscopic scale, such as changes to the distribution of the emitted radiation and the target dynamics. This suggests that such parameters may be controlled in experiments at multi-PW laser facilities. In addition, the effects of the RR force are characterized in terms of an average radiation emission angle. We present an analytical model which, for the first time, describes the effect of the RR force on the collective electron dynamics within the `light-sail' regime of RPA. The predictions of this model can be tested in future experiments with ultra-high intensity lasers interacting with solid targets.