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Title: Temporal resolution criterion for correctly simulating relativistic electron motion in a high-intensity laser field

Particle-in-cell codes are now standard tools for studying ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions. Motivated by direct laser acceleration of electrons in sub-critical plasmas, we examine temporal resolution requirements that must be satisfied to accurately calculate electron dynamics in strong laser fields. Using the motion of a single electron in a perfect plane electromagnetic wave as a test problem, we show surprising deterioration of the numerical accuracy with increasing wave amplitude a{sub 0} for a given time-step. We go on to show analytically that the time-step must be significantly less than λ/ca{sub 0} to achieve good accuracy. We thus propose adaptive electron sub-cycling as an efficient remedy.
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Institute for Fusion Studies, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States)
  2. Physics Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States)
  3. Central Laser Facility, STFC Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, Didcot OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)
  4. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408015
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATION; ACCURACY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ELECTRONS; INTERACTIONS; LASER RADIATION; LASER-PRODUCED PLASMA; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; TIME RESOLUTION