Studies on the relativistic electrons and x-rays generated by laser wakefield accelerators

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Title: Studies on the relativistic electrons and x-rays generated by laser wakefield accelerators
Author(s): Bloom, Michael Samuel
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Laser wakefield accelerators (LWFAs) operate through a high intensity ultra short laser pulse exciting a relativis- tic density wave in a plasma. I carried out experiments constructing LWFAs using lasers of a wide range of powers. Thereby allowing me to examine the generation of electrons and x-rays under these different conditions. The compar- ison of these results with my own and existing analytical models and computational modelling is discussed. In fulfilment of this, I developed novel techniques to measure hard x-rays in the tens of KeV energy range. In measure- ment of the relativistic electrons I found it possible to de- velop techniques to not only accurately measure the energy but also discern the three momentum vectors of electrons measured on a multiscreen electron spectrometer. As LWFAs open up the ability to produce high energy elec- tron beams without the need of tens of meters of RF accel- eration cavities and the lasers used to drive them can also be made relatively compact perhaps one of the most excit- ing application of this is the production of hard x-rays for imaging. As the source size of a LWFA betatron source is typically of micron scale, I investigated using LWFA derived x-rays for phase contrast imaging.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: May-2014
Date Awarded: Feb-2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/29132
Advisor: Mangles, Stuart
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Department: Physics
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Physics PhD theses



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