Attoseconds short electron pulse train from laser particle accelerator – accepted in PRL
By carefully controlling the interaction between ultrashort laser pulses and free electrons, we show in this letter that we can create ultrashort electron packets of a duration of just 300 attoseconds. Even for physicists, 300 attosecond is an extremely short time span: it equals the time it takes light to travel across a small virus. Our work hence opens the door to measuring extremely fast processes in nature, such as processes connected to electron motion in matter. Furthermore, novel photonics-based accelerator techniques require precise control over the arrival time of electrons in the accelerator, which we can now control. By reaching this precision, DLAs can operate in a stable regime over long distances and accelerate electron beams efficiently.