Beam diagnostics for the Texas Petawatt Laser Wakefield Acceleration Project



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An overview of the beam diagnostics for the laser wakefield acceleration project at the Texas Petawatt Laser facility is presented. In this experiment, short and intense laser pulses of 165 fs and up to 190 J will be used to accelerate electrons up to the GeV energy range using laser wakefield acceleration.

The density variation of the plasma generated in a helium gas cell will be measured with different optical detection systems such as frequency domain holography. Spectra of the transmitted laser beam and optical transition radiation will yield information about the energy transfer to the plasma and the energy of the electrons, respectively. In addition, a calorimeter will measure accelerated electron energies.

Prior to the final experiment, preliminary frequency shift measurements and simulations on optical transition radiation were performed.