Generation of periodic accelerating structures in plasma by colliding laser pulses

G. Shvets, N. J. Fisch, A. Pukhov, J. Meyer-ter-Vehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A mechanism for generating large (>1 GeV/m) accelerating wakes in a plasma is proposed. Two slightly detuned counterpropagating laser beams, an ultrashort timing pulse and a long pump, exchange photons and deposit the recoil momentum in plasma electrons. This produces a localized region of electron current, which acts as a virtual electron beam, inducing intense plasma wakes with phase velocity equal to the group velocity of the short pulse. Modulating the pumping beam generates periodic accelerating structures in the plasma ("plasma linac") which can be used for particle acceleration unlimited by the dephasing between the particles and the wake. An important difference between this type of plasma accelerator and the conventional wakefield accelerators is that this type can be achieved with laser intensities I≪1018 W/cm2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2218-2223
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number2 B
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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