Envelope equations and conservation laws describing wakefield generation and electron acceleration

Cairns, R. A. and Reitsma, A. and Bingham, R. (2004) Envelope equations and conservation laws describing wakefield generation and electron acceleration. Physics of Plasmas, 11 (2). pp. 766-770. ISSN 1070-664X

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Abstract

Previous authors have proposed various envelope equations to describe the behavior of an electromagnetic pulse generating a wakefield. In general these retain second-order derivatives, the reason being that the eikonal contains the initial wave frequency. Here it is shown that if the evolution of the wave frequency is followed using ray-tracing equations, a first-order evolution equation is obtained. It can be shown with this formalism that wave action is conserved and the energy lost from the electromagnetic wave can be explicitly accounted for in terms of energy gained by the plasma. The energy balance equations suggest that an electron bunch which will extract energy efficiently from a wakefield can be at least as efficiently accelerated by direct interaction with the electromagnetic pulse.