On the maximum longitudinal electric field of a large amplitude electron plasma wave excited by a short electromagnetic radiation pulse

S. Dalla, M. Lontano

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The excitation of large amplitude plasma oscillations by the ponderomotive force exerted by a short electromagnetic (e.m.) radiation pulse on the electrons, is described within a one-dimensional, relativistic, cold plasma model. The quasistatic approximation, which assumes that the fluid variables follow adiabatically the temporal evolution of the field variables, is assumed to be valid. For a fixed rectangular profile of the e.m. wavepacket, travelling with group velocity vg<c, the analytical solution of the problem is obtained. It is shown that, after the transit of the pulse, the coherent longitudinal electric field (travelling with phase velocity vφ=vg) can reach values higher than EMAXst=√2(mecωpe/e)(γφ-1)1 2, where γφ=(1-v2φ/c2)-1 2, up to EMAX=√2(mecωpe/e)(γ2φvφ/c) (3-v2φ/c2-√5-2v2φ/c2+v4φ/c4)1 2. However, this is only a transient dynamics which leads inevitably to the wavebreaking at a distance of approximately one wavelength from the beginning of the pulse. Actually, only for E<EMAXststationary plasma oscillations can be sustained. © 1993.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456 - 461
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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