Temporal characterization of a self-modulated laser wakefield

S. P. Le Blanc, M. C. Downer, R. Wagner, S. Y. Chen, A. Maksimchuk, G. Mourou, D. Umstadter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The temporal envelope of plasma density oscillations in the wake of an intense (I˜4 × 1018 W/cm2, λ = 1 μm) laser pulse (400 fs) is measured using forward Thomson scattering from a copropagating, frequency-doubled probe pulse. The wakefield oscillations in a fully ionized helium plasma (ne = 3×1019 cm-3) are observed to reach maximum amplitude (δne/ne˜0.1) 300 fs after the pump pulse. The wakefield growth (3.5 ps-1) and decay (1.9 ps-1) rates are consistent with the forward Raman scattering instability and Landau damping, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5381-5384
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number27
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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