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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Mar 4;88(9):095005. Epub 2002 Feb 15.

Electron acceleration by a tightly focused laser beam.

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Theoretische Quantendynamik, Fakultät für Physik, Universität Freiburg, Hermann-Herder Strasse 3, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.


State-of-the-art petawatt laser beams may be focused down to few-micron spot sizes and can produce violent electron acceleration as a result of the extremely intense and asymmetric fields. Classical fifth-order calculations in the diffraction angle show that electrons, injected sideways into the tightly focused laser beam, get captured and gain energy in the GeV regime. We point out the most favorable points of injection away from the focus, along with an efficient means of extracting the energetic electron with a static magnetic field.

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