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Ultrarelativistic electromagnetic pulses in plasmasThe physical processes of a linearly polarized electromagnetic pulse of highly relativistic amplitude in an underdense plasma accelerating particles to very high energies are studied through computer simulation. An electron-positron plasma is considered first. The maximum momenta achieved scale as the square of the wave amplitude. This acceleration stops when the bulk of the wave energy is converted to particle energy. The pulse leaves behind as a wake a vacuum region whose length scales as the amplitude of the wave. The results can be explained in terms of a snow plow or piston-like action of the radiation on the plasma. When a mass ratio other than unity is chosen and electrostatic effects begin to play a role, first the ion energy increases faster than the electron energy and then the electron energy catches up later, eventually reaching the same value.
Document ID
19810042997
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Ashour-Abdalla, M. (California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Leboeuf, J. N. (California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Tajima, T. (California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Dawson, J. M. (California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Kennel, C. F. (California, University Los Angeles, Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1981
Publication Information
Publication: Physical Review A - General Physics
Subject Category
PLASMA PHYSICS
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSG-7341
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF PHY-79-01319
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-78
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF ATM-78-19958
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other