Relativistic laser-plasma interactions in the quantum regime

Bengt Eliasson, Padma Shukla

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31 Citations (Scopus)


We consider nonlinear interactions between a relativistically strong laser beam and a plasma in the quantum regime. The collective behavior of electrons is modeled by a Klein-Gordon equation, which is nonlinearly coupled with the electromagnetic wave through the Maxwell and Poisson equations. This allows us to study nonlinear interactions between arbitrarily large-amplitude electromagnetic waves and a quantum plasma. We have used our system of nonlinear equations to study theoretically the parametric instabilities involving stimulated Raman scattering and modulational instabilities. A model for quasi-steady-state propagating electromagnetic wave packets is also derived, and which shows possibility of localized solitary structures in a quantum plasma. Numerical simulations demonstrate collapse and acceleration of electrons in the nonlinear stage of the modulational instability, as well as possibility of the wake-field acceleration of electrons to relativistic speeds by short laser pulses at nanometer length scales. Our study is relevant for understanding the localization of intense electromagnetic pulses in a quantum plasma with extremely high electron densities and relatively low temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number046407
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2011


  • quantum plasma
  • relativistic
  • laser-plasma interaction
  • relativistics


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