Filaments in high-speed counter-streaming plasma interactions driven by high-power laser pulses


Interactions of two counter-streaming plasmas driven by high power laser pulses are studied on Shenguang II laser facility. Filamentary structures were observed in the interaction region after the electrostatic shockwave decay. Theoretical analysis and observations indicate that the filaments are because of collisionless mechanisms, which are caused by the electromagnetic instability, such as the beam-Weibel instability. Collision experiments were also carried out for comparison and no filaments were generated.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to YuTong Li or Jie Zhang.

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LI YuTong, Professor. Main research interests include laser acceleration and ultrafast radiation, and laboratory astrophysics (more details can be found at Over 100 papers (7 among them on Physical Review Letters, 2 on Nature Physics) have been published. He won the Second Class National Natural Science Award in 2006, Outstanding Achievement Award of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Distinguished Young Scholar of National Natural Science Foundation in 2009 and WANG GanChang Award of the Chinese Physical Society in 2011.

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Yuan, D., Li, Y., Su, L. et al. Filaments in high-speed counter-streaming plasma interactions driven by high-power laser pulses. Sci. China Phys. Mech. Astron. 56, 2381–2385 (2013).

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  • laser-produced plasmas
  • collisionless shock waves
  • Weibel instability