ABSTRACT: We report a measurement of the electron temperature in a plasma generated by a high-intensity laser focused into a jet of neon. The 15 eV electron temperature is determined using an analytic solution of the plasma equations assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium, initially developed for ultracold neutral plasmas. We show that this analysis method accurately reproduces more sophisticated plasma simulations in our temperature and density range. While our plasma temperatures are far outside the typical "ultracold" regime, the ion temperature is determined by the plasma density through disorder-induced heating just as in ultracold neutral plasma experiments. Based on our results, we outline a pathway for achieving a strongly coupled neutral laser-produced plasma that even more closely resembles ultracold neutral plasma conditions.
Physical Review Letters 07/2012; 109(3):035002. · 7.37 Impact Factor