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Brilliant circularly polarized γ-ray sources via single-shot laser plasma interaction

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Abstract

Circularly polarized (CP) γ-ray sources are versatile for broad applications in nuclear physics, high-energy physics, and astrophysics. The laser-plasma based particle accelerators provide accessibility for much higher flux γ-ray sources than conventional approaches, in which, however, the circular polarization properties of the emitted γ-photons are usually neglected. In this Letter, we show that brilliant CP γ-ray beams can be generated via the combination of laser plasma wakefield acceleration and plasma mirror techniques. In a weakly nonlinear Compton scattering scheme with moderate laser intensities, the helicity of the driving laser can be transferred to the emitted γ-photons, and their average polarization degree can reach ∼61% (20%) with a peak brilliance of $\gtrsim 10^{21}~$photons/(s · mm2 · mrad2 · 0.1% BW) around 1 MeV (100 MeV). Moreover, our proposed method is easily feasible and robust with respect to the laser and plasma parameters.

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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