Axial magnetic field generation by intense circularly polarized laser pulses in underdense plasmas

Naseri, N.; Bychenkov, V. Yu.; Rozmus, W.
August 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2010, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p083109
Academic Journal
Axial magnetic field generation by intense circularly polarized laser beams in underdense plasmas has been studied with three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations and by means of theoretical analysis. Comparisons between analytical models and simulation results have identified an inverse Faraday effect as the main mechanism of the magnetic field generation in inhomogeneous plasmas. The source of azimuthal nonlinear currents and of the axial magnetic field depends on the transverse inhomogeneities of the electron density and laser intensity. The fields reach a maximum strength of several tens of megagauss for laser pulses undergoing relativistic self-focusing and channeling in moderately relativistic regime. Ultrarelativistic laser conditions inhibit magnetic field generation by directly reducing a source term and by generating fully evacuated plasma channels.


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