Kinetic theory of radiation reaction

Adam Noble, Dino Jaroszynski, Jonathan Gratus, David Burton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


The development of ultra-high intensity laser facilities requires a detailed understanding of how accelerating charged particles interact with their own radiation fields. The Abraham-Lorentz-Dirac (ALD) equation - the standard description of radiation reaction - is beset with difficulties, but when handled with care can provide useful information.
A kinetic theory has been developed, based on the exact ALD equation. Although the
unphysical solutions of the ALD equation obstruct the reduction of this theory to the
usual Vlasov-Maxwell system in the appropriate limit, its moments give rise to a
fluid theory which does have the correct limiting behaviour. As a simple illustration of the theory, the radiative damping of Langmuir waves gives rise to a modified dispersion relation. A new unphysical instability is found, originating from the runaway solutions of
the ALD equation, which must be rejected, leaving the physical solutions which display
the correct slow damping.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCentral Laser Facility Annual Report 2010-2011
EditorsBrian Wyborn
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • radiation reaction
  • lasers


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