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Growth of spike in relativistic Gaussian laser beam in a plasma and its effect on third-harmonic generation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 January 2017

N. Ahmad*
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, College of Science, UAE University, PO Box 15551 Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
S. T. Mahmoud
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, College of Science, UAE University, PO Box 15551 Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
G. Purohit
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Laser-Plasma Computational Laboratory, DAV (PG) College, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: N. Ahmad, Department of Physics, College of Science, UAE University, PO Box 15551 Al-Ain, UAE. E-mail: nafis.jmi@gmail.com

Abstract

A paraxial ray formalism is developed to study the evolution of an on axis intensity spike on a Gaussian laser beam in a plasma dominated by relativistic and ponderomotive non-linearities. Ion motion is taken to be frozen. A single beam width parameter characterizes the evolution of the spike. The spike introduces two competing influences: diffraction divergence and self-convergence. The former grows with the reduction in spot size of the spike, while the latter depends on the gradient in non-linear permittivity. Parameter δ = (ωpr00/c) a00/(3.5 r00/r01) characterizes the relative importance of the two, where r01 and r00 are the spike and main beam radii, ωp is the plasma frequency, and a00 is the normalized laser amplitude. For δ > 1, the intensity ripple causes faster self-focusing of the beam; higher the ripple amplitude stronger the focusing. In the opposite limit, diffraction divergence increases more rapidly, slowing down the self-focusing of the beam. As the beam intensity rises due to self-focusing, it causes stronger generation of the third harmonic.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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