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Relativistic current dynamics investigations by proton probing

Borghesi, M. and Quinn, K. and Wilson, P. A. and Cecchetti, C. A. and Ramakrishna, B. and Romagnani, L. and Sarri, G. and Lancia, L. and Fuchs, J. and Pipahl, A. and Toncian, T. and Willi, O. and Carroll, D. C. and Gallegos, P. and Quinn, M. N. and Yuan, X. H. and McKenna, P. and Clarke, R. J. and Evans, R. G. and Neely, D. and Notley, M. and Macchi, A. and Lyseikina, T. V. and Nazarov, W. (2009) Relativistic current dynamics investigations by proton probing. In: Laser-Driven Relativistic Plasmas Applied to Science, Industry and Medicine - The 2nd International Symposium. AIP, New York, NY, pp. 319-330. ISBN 9780735406902

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The proton probing technique has been used to investigate the incidence of a mid-l019 W cm-2 pulse with metalhc wire and laminar foam targets. Electric fields ∼ l010 V-m-1 are measured on the surface of the 125 μm-diameter wire in the wake of the laser interaction as it charges and discharges within a 20 ps temporal window, whilst the employment of a novel experimental technique permits the observation of the propagation of a charging front at ∼ c away from the point of interaction. In the foam shots, meanwhile, the behaviour of the hot electrons generated by the interaction pulse is probed inside the target. Evidence of electric inhibition effects and filamentation is found.