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  1. Abstract

    The formation and evolution of post-solitons has been discussed for quite some time both analytically and through the use of particle-in-cell (PIC) codes. It is however only recently that they have been directly observed in laser-plasma experiments. Relativistic electromagnetic (EM) solitons are localised structures that can occur in collisionless plasmas. They consist of a low-frequency EM wave trapped in a low electron number-density cavity surrounded by a shell with a higher electron number-density. Here we describe the results of an experiment in which a 100 TW Ti:sapphire laser (30 fs, 800 nm) irradiates a0.03gcm3TMPTA foam target with a focused intensityIl=9.5×1017Wcm2. A third harmonic (λprobe266nm) probe is employed to diagnose plasma motion for 25 ps after the main pulse interaction via Doppler-Spectroscopy. Both radiation-hydrodynamics and 2D PIC simulations are performed to aid in the interpretation of the experimental results. We show that the rapid motion of the probe critical-surface observed in the experiment might be a signature of post-soliton wall motion.