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Title: Relativistic and ponderomotive self-focusing of a laser beam in a radially inhomogeneous plasma. I. Paraxial approximation

Abstract

The propagation of a high-irradiance laser beam in a plasma whose optical index depends nonlinearly on the light intensity is investigated through both theoretical and numerical analyses. The nonlinear effects examined herein are the relativistic decrease of the plasma frequency and the ponderomotive expelling of the electrons. This paper is devoted to focusing and defocusing effects of a beam assumed to remain cylindrical and for a plasma supposed homogeneous along the propagation direction but radially inhomogeneous with a parabolic density profile. A two-parameter perturbation expansion is used; these two parameters, assumed small with respect to unity, are the ratio of the laser wavelength to the radial electric-field gradient length and the ratio of the plasma frequency to the laser frequency. The laser field is described in the context of a time envelope and spatial paraxial approximations. An analytical expression is provided for the critical beam power beyond which self-focusing appears; it depends strongly on the plasma inhomogeneity and suggests the plasma density tailoring in order to lower this critical power. The beam energy radius evolution is obtained as a function of the propagation distance by numerically solving the paraxial equation given by the two-parameter expansion. The relativistic mass variation ismore » shown to dominate the ponderomotive effect. For strong laser fields, self-focusing saturates due to corrections of fourth order in the electric field involved by both contributions.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Service des Photons, Atomes et Molecules, Centre d' Etudes de Saclay, Bat. 522, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France)
  2. Laboratoire PMI, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau (France)
  3. Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Centre d'Etudes de Limeil-Valenton, 94195 Villeneuve-St-Georges (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6212912
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Fluids B; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5:10; Journal ID: ISSN 0899-8221
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; INHOMOGENEOUS PLASMA; LASER RADIATION; PONDEROMOTIVE FORCE; ANALYTICAL SOLUTION; BEAM-PLASMA SYSTEMS; COMPUTER CODES; ELECTRIC FIELDS; PERTURBATION THEORY; PLASMA DENSITY; RELATIVISTIC PLASMA; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; PLASMA; RADIATIONS; 700350* - Plasma Production, Heating, Current Drive, & Interactions- (1992-)

Citation Formats

Brandi, H S, Manus, C, Mainfray, G, Lehner, T, and Bonnaud, G. Relativistic and ponderomotive self-focusing of a laser beam in a radially inhomogeneous plasma. I. Paraxial approximation. United States: N. p., 1993. Web. doi:10.1063/1.860828.
Brandi, H S, Manus, C, Mainfray, G, Lehner, T, & Bonnaud, G. Relativistic and ponderomotive self-focusing of a laser beam in a radially inhomogeneous plasma. I. Paraxial approximation. United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.860828
Brandi, H S, Manus, C, Mainfray, G, Lehner, T, and Bonnaud, G. Fri . "Relativistic and ponderomotive self-focusing of a laser beam in a radially inhomogeneous plasma. I. Paraxial approximation". United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.860828.
@article{osti_6212912,
title = {Relativistic and ponderomotive self-focusing of a laser beam in a radially inhomogeneous plasma. I. Paraxial approximation},
author = {Brandi, H S and Manus, C and Mainfray, G and Lehner, T and Bonnaud, G},
abstractNote = {The propagation of a high-irradiance laser beam in a plasma whose optical index depends nonlinearly on the light intensity is investigated through both theoretical and numerical analyses. The nonlinear effects examined herein are the relativistic decrease of the plasma frequency and the ponderomotive expelling of the electrons. This paper is devoted to focusing and defocusing effects of a beam assumed to remain cylindrical and for a plasma supposed homogeneous along the propagation direction but radially inhomogeneous with a parabolic density profile. A two-parameter perturbation expansion is used; these two parameters, assumed small with respect to unity, are the ratio of the laser wavelength to the radial electric-field gradient length and the ratio of the plasma frequency to the laser frequency. The laser field is described in the context of a time envelope and spatial paraxial approximations. An analytical expression is provided for the critical beam power beyond which self-focusing appears; it depends strongly on the plasma inhomogeneity and suggests the plasma density tailoring in order to lower this critical power. The beam energy radius evolution is obtained as a function of the propagation distance by numerically solving the paraxial equation given by the two-parameter expansion. The relativistic mass variation is shown to dominate the ponderomotive effect. For strong laser fields, self-focusing saturates due to corrections of fourth order in the electric field involved by both contributions.},
doi = {10.1063/1.860828},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6212912}, journal = {Physics of Fluids B; (United States)},
issn = {0899-8221},
number = ,
volume = 5:10,
place = {United States},
year = {1993},
month = {10}
}