Ladder Climbing and Autoresonant Acceleration of Plasma Waves

I. Barth, I. Y. Dodin, N. J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


When the background density in a bounded plasma is modulated in time, discrete modes become coupled. Interestingly, for appropriately chosen modulations, the average plasmon energy might be made to grow in a ladderlike manner, achieving upconversion or downconversion of the plasmon energy. This reversible process is identified as a classical analog of the effect known as quantum ladder climbing, so that the efficiency and the rate of this process can be written immediately by analogy to a quantum particle in a box. In the limit of a densely spaced spectrum, ladder climbing transforms into continuous autoresonance; plasmons may then be manipulated by chirped background modulations much like electrons are autoresonantly manipulated by chirped fields. By formulating the wave dynamics within a universal Lagrangian framework, similar ladder climbing and autoresonance effects are predicted to be achievable with general linear waves in both plasma and other media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 11 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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