Simultaneous Measurement of Local Gain and Electron Density in X-ray Lasers

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Science  23 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5278, pp. 1093-1096
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5278.1093


X-ray lasers (XRLs) have experimental average gains that are significantly less than calculated values and a persistently low level of spatial coherence. An XRL has been used both as an injected signal to a short XRL amplifier and as an interferometer beam to measure two-dimensional local gain and density profiles of the XRL plasma with a resolution near 1 micrometer. The measured local gain is in agreement with atomic models but is unexpectedly spatially inhomogeneous. This inhomogeneity is responsible for the low level of spatial coherence observed and helps explain the disparity between observed and simulated gains.