This content will become publicly available on May 11, 2023
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Abstract Using plasma mirror injection we demonstrate, both analytically and numerically, that a circularly polarized helical laser pulse can accelerate highly collimated dense bunches of electrons to several hundred MeV using currently available laser systems. The circular-polarized helical (Laguerre–Gaussian) beam has a unique field structure where the transverse fields have helix-like wave-fronts which tend to zero on-axis where, at focus, there are large on-axis longitudinal magnetic and electric fields. The acceleration of electrons by this type of laser pulse is analyzed as a function of radial mode number and it is shown that the radial mode number has a profound effect on electron acceleration close to the laser axis. Using three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations a circular-polarized helical laser beam with power of 0.6 PW is shown to produce several dense attosecond bunches. The bunch nearest the peak of the laser envelope has an energy of 0.47 GeV with spread as narrow as 10%, a charge of 26 pC with duration of ∼ 400 as, and a very low divergence of 20 mrad. The confinement by longitudinal magnetic fields in the near-axis region allows the longitudinal electric fields to accelerate the electrons over a long period after the initial reflection. Both themore »
Abstract Laser wakefield accelerators promise to revolutionize many areas of accelerator science. However, one of the greatest challenges to their widespread adoption is the difficulty in control and optimization of the accelerator outputs due to coupling between input parameters and the dynamic evolution of the accelerating structure. Here, we use machine learning techniques to automate a 100 MeV-scale accelerator, which optimized its outputs by simultaneously varying up to six parameters including the spectral and spatial phase of the laser and the plasma density and length. Most notably, the model built by the algorithm enabled optimization of the laser evolution that might otherwise have been missed in single-variable scans. Subtle tuning of the laser pulse shape caused an 80% increase in electron beam charge, despite the pulse length changing by just 1%.
The concept of electron acceleration by a laser beam in vacuum is attractive due to its seeming simplicity, but its implementation has been elusive, as it requires efficient electron injection into the beam and a mechanism for counteracting transverse expulsion. Electron injection during laser reflection off a plasma mirror is a promising mechanism, but it is sensitive to the plasma density gradient that is hard to control. We get around this sensitivity by utilizing volumetric injection that takes place when a helical laser beam traverses a low-density target. The electron retention is achieved by choosing the helicity, such that the transverse field profiles are hollow while the longitudinal fields are peaked on central axis. We demonstrate using three-dimensional simulations that a 3 PW helical laser can generate a 50 pC low-divergence electron beam with a maximum energy of 1.5 GeV. The unique features of the beam are short acceleration distance (∼100 μm), compact transverse size, high areal density, and electron bunching (∼100 as bunch duration).
An experimental study was undertaken to evaluate the power extraction of an airfoil undergoing large amplitude pitching and heaving using a trailing edge flapping motion for the application of energy harvesting for steady flow over the airfoil. The airfoil was a NACA0015 design, pitching at the 1/3 chord position, with an actively controlled trailing edge flap hinged at the 2/3 chord location (chord length of c = 150mm and aspect ratio AR = 2, however end plates were used to simulate a two-dimensional airfoil). Data were obtained over a range of wind speeds corresponding to Reynolds numbers in the 30,000–60,000 range in a low-speed wind tunnel with turbulence intensities below 2%. The results are characterized using the reduced frequency, k = fc/U∞ over the range of 0.04–0.08, where f is the oscillating frequency in Hz, and U∞ is the freestream velocity. The pitching and heaving amplitudes are θ0 = 70° and h0 = 0.6c respectively, with a phase delay of 90°. Two trailing edge motion profiles are presented, examining the relative phase of trailing edge flap to the pitching phase. For each motion, a positive and negative case are considered. This is a total of 4 trailing edge motionmore »
LEGOs are one of the most popular toys and are known to be useful as instructional tools in STEM education. In this work, we used LEGO structures to demonstrate the energetic size effect on structural strength. Many material's fexural strength decreases with increasing structural size. We seek to demonstrate this effect in LEGO beams. Fracture experiments were performed using 3-point bend beams built of 2 X 4 LEGO blocks in a periodic staggered arrangement. LEGO wheels were used as rollers on either ends of the specimens which were weight compensated by adding counterweights.  Specimens were loaded by hanging weights at their midspan and the maximum sustained load was recorded. Specimens with a built-in defect (crack) of half specimen height were considered. Beam height was varied from two to 32 LEGO blocks while keeping the in-plane aspect ratio constant. The specimen thickness was kept constant at one LEGO block. Slow-motion videos and sound recordings of fractures were captured to determine how the fracture originated and propagated through the specimen. Flexural stress was calculated based on nominal specimen dimensions and fracture toughness was calculated following ASTM E-399 standard expressions from Srawley (1976).  The results demonstrate that the LEGO beams indeedmore »