- A possible new mechanism for anomalous ion heating in ultra-intense laser plasmas is considered here. This mechanism is based on the excitation of an electron two-stream instability that is driven by the fast electron beam and resonantly decays into ion-acoustic waves. These low frequency waves are then strongly damped by the ion collisions in the dense plasma. The model gives a simple explanation for the preferential heating of the bulk ion population observed in recent laser experiments in the petawatt (PW) regime. © 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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A coupled two-step plasma instability in PW laser plasma interactions
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