Plasma-photonic spatiotemporal synchronization of relativistic electron and laser beams

Scherkl, Paul and Knetsch, Alexander and Heinemann, Thomas and Sutherland, Andrew and Habib, Ahmad Fahim and Karger, Oliver and Ullmann, Daniel and Beaton, Andrew and Kirwan, Gavin and Manahan, Grace and Xi, Yunfeng and Deng, Aihua and Litos, Michael Dennis and OShea, Brendan D. and Green, Selina Z. and Clarke, Christine I. and Andonian, Gerard and Assmann, Ralph and Jaroszynski, Dino A. and Bruhwiler, David L. and Smith, Jonathan and Cary, John R. and Hogan, Mark J. and Yakimenko, Vitaly and Rosenzweig, James B. and Hidding, Bernhard (2019) Plasma-photonic spatiotemporal synchronization of relativistic electron and laser beams. Working paper., Ithaca, New York. (Submitted)

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    Modern particle accelerators and their applications increasingly rely on precisely coordinated interactions of intense charged particle and laser beams. Femtosecond-scale synchronization alongside micrometre-scale spatial precision are essential e.g. for pump-probe experiments, seeding and diagnostics of advanced light sources and for plasma-based accelerators. State-of-the-art temporal or spatial diagnostics typically operate with low-intensity beams to avoid material damage at high intensity. As such, we present a plasma-based approach, which allows measurement of both temporal and spatial overlap of high-intensity beams directly at their interaction point. It exploits amplification of plasma afterglow arising from the passage of an electron beam through a laser-generated plasma filament. The corresponding photon yield carries the spatiotemporal signature of the femtosecond-scale dynamics, yet can be observed as a visible light signal on microsecond-millimetre scales.