Faculty Candidate Seminar
From Dream to Reality: Generation of Multi-GeV Electrons Using High Intensity, Ultrafast Laser Pulses
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In the past few years great advances have been made in the production of low emittance, high quality (i.e., monoenergetic) electron beams using ultrafast (< 50 femtoseconds), high power (< 1TW) lasers. The most noticeable of these advances was the publication of the three experimental papers in the “Dream Beam” Issue of Nature[1-3]. Since then, progresses have been made in beam energies, diagnostics, and the control of these highly nonlinear systems. These systems, due to its nonlinear and ultrafast nature, lend themselves ideally to first principle, particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. In this talk, I will present several large scale PIC simulations which demonstrates the roles PIC simulations can play in the design, understanding, and the further development of these experiments. In the first part of my talk, I will show how PIC simulations can give insights to these highly nonlinear processes, and give quantitative agreements with experiments reported in [1-3]. In the second part of my talk, I will present a phenomenological theory that offers a path toward multi-GeV, high quality beams, and show simulations which support these predictions.  S. P. D. Mangles et al, Nature, 431, 535 (2004).  C. G. R. Geddes et al, Nature, 431, 538 (2004).  J. Faure et al, Nature, 431, 541 (2004).