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Superradiance driven by coherent spontaneous emission in a cherenkov free-electron maser amplifier

Jaroszynski, D.A. and Wiggins, Mark 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. (2000) Superradiance driven by coherent spontaneous emission in a cherenkov free-electron maser amplifier. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 445 (1-3). pp. 261-266. ISSN 0168-9002

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Superradiance (SR) initiated by coherent spontaneous emission (CSE) has been studied in a 35 GHz high gain free-electron Cherenkov maser. We present experimental results that show the development of ultra-short pulses of radiation in the non-linear superradiant regime which are characterised by a quadratic dependence of the intensity on the current. The self-similar pulses that develop have a duration that scales inversely with the fourth root of the intensity leading to three cycle long pulses at the highest intensity (few MW). The non-linear SR regime is preceded by a stage of linear exponential growth of the microwave pulses with a gain length of 1 cm. The superradiant pulse is shown to evolve from a CSE seed by extrapolating the growth curve. Further confirmation of CSE has been obtained by varying the current pulse shape. By varying the slope of the leading edge, and thus the Fourier components of the longitudinal spectral density, we are able to vary the strength of the CSE source. We compare the experimental results with a theoretical analysis.