ABSTRACT Using the BNL Accelerator Test Facility we have shown that a tightly focused laser on a vacuum can accelerate an electron beam in free space. The electron beam had energy of 20 MeV and the CO2 laser had energy of about 3 Joule. In the readout of the experiment we detect a clear effect for the laser beam off and on. The size of the effect is about 20% and is reproducible over many laser and beam shots. This is a proof of principle and the data are fully consistent with the CAS theory. The results of this experiment may have an impact on the LASER fusion method.
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