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    Rights statement: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at doi:10.1088/0741-3335/58/10/103001

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Applications of laser wakefield accelerator-based light sources

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Published
Article number103001
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number10
Volume58
Number of pages35
StatePublished
Early online date2/09/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Laser-wakefield accelerators (LWFAs) were proposed more than three decades ago, and while they promise to deliver compact, high energy particle accelerators, they will also provide the scientific community with novel light sources. In a LWFA, where an intense laser pulse focused onto a plasma forms an electromagnetic wave in its wake, electrons can be trapped and are now routinely accelerated to GeV energies. From terahertz radiation to gamma-rays, this article reviews light sources from relativistic electrons produced by LWFAs, and discusses their potential applications. Betatron motion, Compton scattering and undulators respectively produce x-rays or gamma-rays by oscillating relativistic electrons in the wakefield behind the laser pulse, a counter-propagating laser field, or a magnetic undulator. Other LWFA-based light sources include bremsstrahlung and terahertz radiation. We first evaluate the performance of each of these light sources, and compare them with more conventional approaches, including radio frequency accelerators or other laser-driven sources. We have then identified applications, which we discuss in details, in a broad range of fields: medical and biological applications, military, defense and industrial applications, and condensed matter and high energy density science.

Bibliographic note

This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at doi:10.1088/0741-3335/58/10/103001