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Chou, S.; Xu, J.; Khrennikov, K.; Cardenas, D. E.; Wenz, J.; Heigoldt, M.; Hofmann, L.; Veisz, L. and Karsch, S. (2016): Collective Deceleration of Laser-Driven Electron Bunches. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 117, No. 14, 144801

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Few-fs electron bunches from laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) can efficiently drive plasma wakefields (PWFs), as shown by their propagation through underdense plasma in two experiments. A strong and density-insensitive deceleration of the bunches has been observed in 2 mm of 10(18) cm(-3) density plasma with 5.1 GV/m average gradient, which is attributed to a self-driven PWF. This observation implies that the physics of PWFs, usually relying on large-scale rf accelerators as drivers, can be studied by tabletop LWFA electron sources.

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