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Journal Article

Nonlinear Compton scattering of an ultraintense laser pulse in a plasma


Mackenroth,  Felix
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Mackenroth, F., Kumar, N., Neitz, N., & Keitel, C. H. (2019). Nonlinear Compton scattering of an ultraintense laser pulse in a plasma. Physical Review E, 99(3): 033205. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.99.033205.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-D0DB-B
Laser pulses traveling through a plasma can feature group velocities significantly differing from the speed of light in vacuum. This modifies the well-known Volkov states of an electron inside a strong laser-field from the vacuum case and, consequently, all quantum electrodynamical effects triggered by the electron. Here we present an in-depth study of the basic process of photon emission by an electron scattered from an intense short laser pulse inside a plasma, labeled nonlinear Compton scattering, based on modified Volkov solutions derived from first principles. Consequences of the nonlinear, plasma-dressed laser dispersion on the Compton spectra of emitted photons and implications for high-intensity laser-plasma experiments are pointed out. From a quantitative numerical evaluation we find the plasma to effectively suppress emission of low-frequency photons, whereas the emission of high-frequency photons is enhanced. The emission's angular distribution, on the other hand, is found to remain qualitatively unchanged with respect to the vacuum case.