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Self-amplification of coherent spontaneous emission in a cherenkov free-electron maser

Wiggins, Mark and Jaroszynski, D.A. and McNeil, B.W.J. and Robb, G.R.M. and Aitken, P. and Phelps, A.D.R. and Cross, A.W. and Ronald, K. and Ginzburg, N.S. and Shpak, V.G. and Yalandin, M.I. and Shunailov, S.A. and Ulmaskulov, M.R. (2000) Self-amplification of coherent spontaneous emission in a cherenkov free-electron maser. Physical Review Letters, 84 (11). pp. 2393-2396. ISSN 0031-9007

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Ultrashort pulses of microwave radiation have been produced in a dielectric-lined Cherenkov free-electron maser (FEM) amplifier. An intense initial seed pulse, due to coherent spontaneous emission (CSE), arises at the leading edge of the electron pulse. There is evidence to show that 3-4 cycle spikes are produced through the amplification of these seed pulses. A strong dependence of the start-up power on the rise time of the electron pulse has been found. The experimental results are verified by a theoretical analysis. Our study shows that amplification in a FEM amplifier is always initiated by CSE arising from the edge of the electron pulse when the rise time is comparable to the electromagnetic wave period.