Experimental investigations of the late-time ion structures formed in the wake of an ultrashort, intense laser pulse propagating in a tenuous plasma have been performed using the proton imaging technique. The pattern found in the wake of the laser pulse shows unexpectedly regular modulations inside a long, finite width channel. On the basis of extensive particle in cell simulations of the plasma evolution in the wake of the pulse, we interpret this pattern as due to ion modulations developed during a two-stream instability excited by the return electric current generated by the wakefield.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)