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Localization of intense electromagnetic waves in plasmas

Shukla, Padma and Eliasson, Bengt (2008) Localization of intense electromagnetic waves in plasmas. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366 (1871). pp. 1757-1769. ISSN 1364-503X

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Abstract

We present theoretical and numerical studies of the interaction between relativistically intense laser light and a two-temperature plasma consisting of one relativistically hot and one cold component of electrons. Such plasmas are frequently encountered in intense laser–plasma experiments where collisionless heating via Raman instabilities leads to a high-energetic tail in the electron distribution function. The electromagnetic waves (EMWs) are governed by the Maxwell equations, and the plasma is governed by the relativistic Vlasov and hydrodynamic equations. Owing to the interaction between the laser light and the plasma, we can have trapping of electrons in the intense wakefield of the laser pulse and the formation of relativistic electron holes (REHs) in which laser light is trapped. Such electron holes are characterized by a non-Maxwellian distribution of electrons where we have trapped and free electron populations. We present a model for the interaction between laser light and REHs, and computer simulations that show the stability and dynamics of the coupled electron hole and EMW envelopes.