The use of laser-accelerated protons as a particle probe for the detection of electric fields in plasmas has led in recent years to a wealth of novel information regarding the ultrafast plasma dynamics following high intensity laser-matter interactions. The high spatial quality and short duration of these beams have been essential to this purpose. We will discuss some of the most recent results obtained with this diagnostic at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK) and at LULI - Ecole Polytechnique (France), also applied to conditions of interest to conventional Inertial Confinement Fusion. In particular, the technique has been used to measure electric fields responsible for proton acceleration from solid targets irradiated with ps pulses, magnetic fields formed by ns pulse irradiation of solid targets, and electric fields associated with the ponderomotive channelling of ps laser pulses in under-dense plasmas.
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Surfaces and Interfaces