Nonlinear laser–plasma interactions View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2017-06-16

AUTHORS

P. K. Kaw

ABSTRACT

Soon after lasers were invented, there was tremendous curiosity on the nonlinear phenomena which would result in their interaction with a fully ionized plasma. Apart from the basic interest, it was realized that it could be used for the achievement of nuclear fusion in the laboratory. This led us to a paper on the propagation of a laser beam into an inhomogeneous fusion plasma, where it was first demonstrated that light would go up to the critical layer (where the frequency matches the plasma frequency) and get reflected from there with a reflection coefficient of order unity. The reflection coefficient was determined by collisional effects. Since the wave was expected to slow down to near zero group speed at the reflection point, the dominant collision frequency determining the reflection coefficient was the collision frequency at the reflection point. It turned out that the absorption of light was rather small for fusion temperatures. This placed a premium on investigation of nonlinear phenomena which might contribute to the absorption and penetration of the light into high-density plasma. An early investigation showed that electron jitter with respect to ions would be responsible for the excitation of decay instabilities which convert light waves into electrostatic plasma waves and ion waves near the critical frequency. These electrostatic waves would then get absorbed into the plasma even in the collisionless case and lead to plasma heating which is nonlinear. Detailed estimates of this heating were made. Similar nonlinear processes which could lead to stimulated scattering of light in the underdense region (ω>ωp)\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$(\omega >\omega _p)$$\end{document} were investigated together with a number of other workers. All these nonlinear processes need a critical threshold power for excitation. Another important process which was discovered around the same time had to do with filamentation and trapping of light when certain thresholds were exceeded. All of this work has been extensively verified in laser plasma experiments and have become the backbone of our present understanding of how lasers nonlinearly interact with fully ionized fusion plasmas. A review of this early work will be presented. We shall also present a review of our involvement in the recent work on nonlinear penetration of light into overdense plasmas with gradual and sharp interfaces. More... »

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2

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http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s41614-017-0005-2

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41614-017-0005-2

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