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Excitation of multiple wakefields by short laser pulses in quantum plasmas

Shukla, P.K. and Brodin, G. and Marklund, M. and Stenflo, L. (2009) Excitation of multiple wakefields by short laser pulses in quantum plasmas. Physics Letters A, 373 (35). pp. 3165-3168. ISSN 0375-9601

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We present a theoretical investigation of the excitation of multiple electrostatic wakefields by the ponderomotive force of a short electromagnetic pulse propagating through a dense plasma. It is found that the inclusion of the quantum statistical pressure and quantum electron tunneling effects can qualitatively change the classical behavior of the wakefield. In addition to the well-known plasma oscillation wakefield, with a wavelength of the order of the electron skin depth (λe=c/ωpe, which in a dense plasma is of the order of several nanometers, where c is the speed of light in vacuum and ωpe is the electron plasma frequency), wakefields in dense plasmas with a shorter wavelength (in comparison with λe) are also excited. The wakefields can trap electrons and accelerate them to extremely high energies over nanoscales.