Plasma wakefield generation by multiple short pulses

D A Johnson, R A Cairns, R Bingham, U de Angelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


It is shown that large amplitude Langmuir waves, produced as a wake by short electromagnetic pulses in a plasma, can be generated effectively by a series of short pulses. The nonlinear nature of the Langmuir waves means that a given total energy in the electromagnetic wave is much more effective when delivered in a series of pulses than in a single short pulse. The present analysis treats the generation of the Langmuir wave in both electron-proton and electron-positron-proton plasmas. A plot of phase trajectories shows that the correct phasing of the pulses leads to a dramatic improvement of the wake-field amplitude. For maximum amplification, the pulse maximum of each of the trailing pulses should be spatially coincident with the minimum of the wake-field potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalPhysica Scripta
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Langmuir waves
  • plasma wakefield
  • electron-proton
  • electron-positron-proton plasmas


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