Vacuum electron acceleration by an intense laser

Wang, P. X.; Ho, Y. K.; Yuan, X. Q.; Kong, Q.; Cao, N.; Sessler, A. M.; Esarey, E.; Nishida, Y.
April 2001
Applied Physics Letters;4/9/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 15, p2253
Academic Journal
Using three dimensional test particle simulations, the characteristics and essential conditions under which an electron, in a vacuum laser beam, can undergo a capture and acceleration scenario (CAS) have been examined. When a[sub 0]>=100 the electron can be captured and violently accelerated to energies >=1 GeV, with an acceleration gradient >=10 GeV/cm, where a[sub 0]=eE[sub 0]/m[sub e]ωc is the normalized laser field amplitude. The physical mechanism behind the CAS is that diffraction of the focused laser beam leads to a slowing down of the effective wave phase velocity along the captured electron trajectory, such that the electron can be trapped in the acceleration phase of the wave for a longer time and thus gain significant energy from the field.


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