Laser Electron Accelerator

Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 267 – Published 23 July 1979
T. Tajima and J. M. Dawson


An intense electromagnetic pulse can create a weak of plasma oscillations through the action of the nonlinear ponderomotive force. Electrons trapped in the wake can be accelerated to high energy. Existing glass lasers of power density 1018W/cm2 shone on plasmas of densities 1018 cm-3 can yield gigaelectronvolts of electron energy per centimeter of acceleration distance. This acceleration mechanism is demonstrated through computer simulation. Applications to accelerators and pulsers are examined.


  • Received 9 March 1979
  • Published in the issue dated 23 July 1979

© 1979 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

T. Tajima and J. M. Dawson

  • Department of Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024

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