It is shown that the nonlinear dynamics of the radiation field in a free electron laser (FEL) can be modeled by the Ginzburg-Landau equation. The refractive index of the electron beam in the nonlinear regime and the saturation intensity of the radiation field is obtained from a WKB theory. Though the Ginzburg-Landau equation does not permit soliton solutions, it is shown that certain types of solitary wave solutions bear a strong resemblance to spikes observed in simulations and experiments. In particular, we describe experiments on spikes in the Columbia FEL facility.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics