Monday, July 22, 2013

1307.5198 (J. G. Kirk et al.)

Pair plasma cushions in the hole-boring scenario    [PDF]

J. G. Kirk, A. R. Bell, C. P. Ridgers
Pulses from a 10 PW laser are predicted to produce large numbers of gamma-rays and electron-positron pairs on hitting a solid target. However, a pair plasma, if it accumulates in front of the target, may partially shield it from the pulse. Using stationary, one-dimensional solutions of the two-fluid (electron-positron) and Maxwell equations, including a classical radiation reaction term, we examine this effect in the hole-boring scenario. We find the collective effects of a pair plasma "cushion" substantially reduce the reflectivity, converting the absorbed flux into high-energy gamma-rays. There is also a modest increase in the laser intensity needed to achieve threshold for a non-linear pair cascade.
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