Optical probing of relativistic plasma singularities

Esirkepov, Timur Zh and Mu, Jie and Gu, Yanjun and Jeong, Tae Moon and Valenta, Petr and Klimo, Ondrej and Koga, James K. and Kando, Masaki and Neely, David and Korn, Georg and Bulanov, Sergei V. and Pirozhkov, Alexander S. (2020) Optical probing of relativistic plasma singularities. Physics of Plasmas, 27 (5). 052103. ISSN 1070-664X (https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0004525)

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Singularities in multi-stream flows of relativistic plasmas can efficiently produce coherent high-frequency radiation, as exemplified in the concepts of the Relativistic Flying Mirror [Bulanov et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 085001 (2003)] and Burst Intensification by Singularity Emitting Radiation [Pirozhkov et al., Sci. Rep. 7, 17968 (2017)]. Direct observation of these singularities is challenging due to their extreme sharpness (tens of nanometers), relativistic velocity, and transient non-local nature. We propose to use an ultrafast (a few light cycles) optical probe for identifying relativistic plasma singularities. Our estimations and Particle-in-Cell simulations show that this diagnostic is feasible.