The onset of filamentation, following the interaction of a relatively long (tau(L) similar or equal to 1 ns) and intense (I-L similar or equal to 5 x 10(14) W/cm(2)) laser pulse with a neopentane filled gas bag target, has been experimentally studied via the proton radiography technique, in conditions of direct relevance to the indirect drive inertial confinement fusion scheme. The density gradients associated with filamentation onset have been spatially resolved yielding direct and unambiguous evidence of filament formation and quantitative information about the filamentation mechanism in agreement with previous theoretical modelings. Experimental data confirm that, once spatially smoothed laser beams are used, filamentation is not a relevant phenomenon during the heating laser beams propagation through typical hohlraum gas fills.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)