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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Hermite–Gaussian (HG) laser beam with transverse electromagnetic (TEM) mode indices (m, n) of distinct values (0, 1), (0, 2), (0, 3), and (0, 4) has been analyzed theoretically for direct laser acceleration (DLA) of electron under the influence of an externally applied axial magnetic field. The propagation characteristics of a TEM HG beam in vacuum control the dynamics of electron during laser–electron interaction. The applied magnetic field strengthens the $\vec v \times \vec B$ force component of the fields acting on electron for the occurrence of strong betatron resonance. An axially confined enhanced acceleration is observed due to axial magnetic field. The electron energy gain is sensitive not only to mode indices of TEM HG laser beam but also to applied magnetic field. Higher energy gain in GeV range is seen with higher mode indices in the presence of applied magnetic field. The obtained results with distinct TEM modes would be helpful in the development of better table top accelerators of diverse needs.
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