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Self‐focusing and ion wave generation in laser‐produced plasmas

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  • Two‐dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of laser light self‐focusing in a hydrogen plasma are presented. The simulation code includes a model for laser beam propagation which accounts for inverse bremsstrahlung absorption, refraction, diffraction, and ponderomotive forces. A Gaussian hot spot, superimposed upon a collimated, spatially uniform laser beam, is used to initiate self‐focusing. Intense filaments provide a driving source for ion waves near the axis of the laser beam. The radially propagating ion waves cause spatiotemporal modulations of the flux where it is initially uniform, as well as the more usual focusing that occurs along the axis. Some of the factors affecting the generation of the ion waves are considered. In particular, the effect of changing the amplitude and width of the imposed nonuniformity is investigated. The intensity thresholds for thermal and ponderomotively driven self‐focusing have also been determined by artificially turning the ponderomotive force on and off.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 1988 AIP Publishing. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Rankin, Robert, Marchand, Richard, & Capjack, C. E. (1988). Self‐focusing and ion wave generation in laser‐produced plasmas. The Physics of fluids, 31(8), 2327-2334.
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