Influence of strong magnetic fields on laser pulse propagation in underdense plasma

T C Wilson, F Y Li, M Weikum, Z M Sheng

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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We examine the interaction between intense laser pulses and strongly magnetised plasmas in the weakly relativistic regime. An expression for the electron Lorentz factor coupling both relativistic and cyclotron motion nonlinearities is derived for static magnetic fields along the laser propagation axis. This is applied to predict modifications to the refractive index, critical density, group velocity dispersion and power threshold for relativistic self-focusing. It is found that electron quiver response is enhanced under right circularly-polarised light, decreasing the power threshold for various instabilities, while a dampening effect occurs under left circularly-polarised light, increasing the power thresholds. Derived theoretical predictions are tested by one and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number065002
Number of pages9
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number6
Early online date27 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2017


  • plasma
  • weakly relativistic
  • magnetised
  • underdense


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