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Observation of a Long-Wavelength Hosing Modulation of a High-Intensity Laser Pulse in Underdense Plasma

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • M. C. Kaluza
  • S. P. D. Mangles
  • A. G. R. Thomas
  • Z. Najmudin
  • A. E. Dangor
  • C. D. Murphy
  • J. L. Collier
  • E. J. Divall
  • P. S. Foster
  • C. J. Hooker
  • A. J. Langley
  • J. Smith
  • K. Krushelnick
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Article number095003
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/08/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review Letters
Issue number9
Volume105
Number of pages4
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We report the first experimental observation of a long-wavelength hosing modulation of a high-intensity laser pulse. Side-view images of the scattered optical radiation at the fundamental wavelength of the laser reveal a transverse oscillation of the laser pulse during its propagation through underdense plasma. The wavelength of the oscillation lambda(hosing) depends on the background plasma density n(e) and scales as lambda(hosing) similar to n(e)(-3/2). Comparisons with an analytical model and two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations reveal that this laser hosing can be induced by a spatiotemporal asymmetry of the intensity distribution in the laser focus which can be caused by a misalignment of the parabolic focusing mirror or of the diffraction gratings in the pulse compressor.