Simulation and animation of electron motion in the ponderomotive potential of laser beats

Z. Sheena, A. Gover, S. Ruschin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The behavior of an electron in the beat wave field of two counter-propagating pulsed CO2 laser beams, operating at different frequencies is usually studied by solving the equation of motion of the electron numerically. These solutions give the energy spectrum of the electrons at the end of the interaction. The present paper describes a computer program that animates the motion of the electron, giving a real-time picture of its motion during the entire interaction process. This program can be used to understand several trapping mechanisms of an electron moving in a ponderomotive field superimposed on a dc axial field. The first one is the case in which the electron is created inside the ponderomotive field. In this case the program can be used to show visually that such an electron can get trapped only if its energy is around the synchronization energy and its phase corresponds to the trap phase. In the second case the program can be used to understand the trapping mechanism for the case in which there is a temporal rise in the ponderomotive field. For the case in which an abrupt axial field jump is used to trap the electron in the ponderomotive wells, numerical simulations show periodicity in the relation between the trapping fraction and the energy of the electron. This periodicity and also the trapping mechanism can be clearly understood using the animated motion of the electron together with the varying ponderomotive potential. The program can also be used to understand the detrapping of trapped electrons in the case where there is a temporal fall of the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 10 Dec 1989


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