Growth of spike in relativistic Gaussian laser beam in a plasma and its effect on third-harmonic generation

N. Ahmad, S. T. Mahmoud, G. Purohit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A paraxial ray formalism is developed to study the evolution of an on axis intensity spike on a Gaussian laser beam in a plasma dominated by relativistic and ponderomotive non-linearities. Ion motion is taken to be frozen. A single beam width parameter characterizes the evolution of the spike. The spike introduces two competing influences: diffraction divergence and self-convergence. The former grows with the reduction in spot size of the spike, while the latter depends on the gradient in non-linear permittivity. Parameter δ = (ωp r 00/c) a 00/(3.5 r 00/r 01) characterizes the relative importance of the two, where r 01 and r 00 are the spike and main beam radii, ωp is the plasma frequency, and a 00 is the normalized laser amplitude. For δ > 1, the intensity ripple causes faster self-focusing of the beam; higher the ripple amplitude stronger the focusing. In the opposite limit, diffraction divergence increases more rapidly, slowing down the self-focusing of the beam. As the beam intensity rises due to self-focusing, it causes stronger generation of the third harmonic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalLaser and Particle Beams
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Gaussian laser beam
  • Harmonic generation
  • Non-linear plasma physics
  • Paraxial theory
  • Self-focusing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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