Self-amplification of coherent spontaneous emission in a cherenkov free-electron maser

Mark Wiggins, D.A. Jaroszynski, B.W.J. McNeil, G.R.M. Robb, P. Aitken, A.D.R. Phelps, A.W. Cross, K. Ronald, N.S. Ginzburg, V.G. Shpak, M.I. Yalandin, S.A. Shunailov, M.R. Ulmaskulov

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Ultrashort pulses of microwave radiation have been produced in a dielectric-lined Cherenkov free-electron maser (FEM) amplifier. An intense initial seed pulse, due to coherent spontaneous emission (CSE), arises at the leading edge of the electron pulse. There is evidence to show that 3-4 cycle spikes are produced through the amplification of these seed pulses. A strong dependence of the start-up power on the rise time of the electron pulse has been found. The experimental results are verified by a theoretical analysis. Our study shows that amplification in a FEM amplifier is always initiated by CSE arising from the edge of the electron pulse when the rise time is comparable to the electromagnetic wave period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2393-2396
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2000


  • self-amplification
  • coherent
  • spontaneous
  • emission
  • maser


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