A table-top laser-based source of short, collimated, ultra-relativistic positron beams

Sarri, G. and Schumaker, W. and Di Piazza, A. and Vargas, M. and Dromey, B. and Dieckmann, M. E. and Chvykov, V. and Maksimchuk, A. and Yanovsky, V. and He, Z. -H. and Hou, B. X. and Nees, John A. and Thomas, Alexander George Roy and Keitel, C. H. and Zepf, M. and Krushelnick, Karl (2013) A table-top laser-based source of short, collimated, ultra-relativistic positron beams. Proceedings of SPIE, 8779. ISSN 0277-786X

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An ultra-relativistic electron beam passing through a thick, high-Z solid target triggers an electromagnetic cascade, whereby a large number of high energy photons and electron-positron pairs are produced. By exploiting this physical process, we present here the first experimental evidence of the generation of ultra-short, highly collimated and ultra-relativistic positron beams following the interaction of a laser-wakefield accelerated electron beam with high-Z solid targets. Clear evidence has also been obtained of the generation of GeV electron-positron jets with variable composition depending on the solid target material and thickness. The percentage of positrons in the overall leptonic beam has been observed to vary from a few per cent up to almost fifty per cent, implying a quasi-neutral electron-positron beam. We anticipate that these beams will be of direct relevance to the laboratory study of astrophysical leptonic jets and their interaction with the interstellar medium.

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Journal Article
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Proceedings of SPIE
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05 Apr 2017 10:58
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 01:11