Laser-Induced Linear-Field Particle Acceleration in Free Space
Author(s)Fallahi, Arya; Piot, Philippe; Kärtner, Franz X.; Wong, Liang Jie; Hong, Kyung-Han; Carbajo Garcia, Sergio; Soljacic, Marin; Joannopoulos, John; Kaminer, Ido Efraim; ... Show more Show less
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Linear-field particle acceleration in free space (which is distinct from geometries like the linac that requires components in the vicinity of the particle) has been studied for over 20 years, and its ability to eventually produce high-quality, high energy multi-particle bunches has remained a subject of great interest. Arguments can certainly be made that linear-field particle acceleration in free space is very doubtful given that first-order electron-photon interactions are forbidden in free space. Nevertheless, we chose to develop an accurate and truly predictive theoretical formalism to explore this remote possibility when intense, few-cycle electromagnetic pulses are used in a computational experiment. The formalism includes exact treatment of Maxwell's equations and exact treatment of the interaction among the multiple individual particles at near and far field. Several surprising results emerge. We find that electrons interacting with intense laser pulses in free space are capable of gaining substantial amounts of energy that scale linearly with the field amplitude. For example, 30 keV electrons (2.5% energy spread) are accelerated to 61 MeV (0.5% spread) and to 205 MeV (0.25% spread) using 250 mJ and 2.5 J lasers respectively. These findings carry important implications for our understanding of ultrafast electron-photon interactions in strong fields.
DepartmentLincoln Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mathematics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Wong, Liang Jie, Kyung-Han Hong, Sergio Carbajo, Arya Fallahi, Philippe Piot, Marin Soljačić, John D. Joannopoulos, Franz X. Kärtner, and Ido Kaminer. “Laser-Induced Linear-Field Particle Acceleration in Free Space.” Scientific Reports 7, no. 1 (September 11, 2017).
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