Accession Number : ADA322226

Title :   Ionization and Pulse Lethargy Effects in Inverse Cherenkov Accelerators.

Descriptive Note : Interim rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC BEAM PHYSICS BRANCH

Personal Author(s) : Sprangle, P. ; Hubbard, R. F. ; Hafizi, B.

PDF Url : ADA322226

Report Date : 28 FEB 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 45

Abstract : Ionization processes limit the accelerating gradient and place an upper limit on the pulse duration of the electromagnetic driver in the Inverse Cherenkov Accelerator (ICA). Group velocity slippage, i.e., pulse lethargy, on the other hand, imposes a lower limit on the pulse duration. These limits are obtained for two ICA configurations in which the electromagnetic driver (e.g., laser or millimeter wave source) is propagated in a waveguide that is, (i) lined with a dielectric material or (ii) filled with a neural gas. In either configuration the electromagnetic driving field is guided and has an axial electric field with phase velocity equal to the speed of light in vacuum, c. The intensity of the driver in the ICA, and therefore the acceleration gradient, is limited by tunneling and collisional ionization effects. Partial ionization of the dielectric liner or gas can lead to significant modification of the dispersive properties of the waveguide, altering the phase velocity of the accelerating field and causing partial slippage, thus disrupting the acceleration process. An additional limitation on the pulse duration is imposed since the group velocity of the driving pulse is less than c and the pulse slips behind the accelerated electrons. Hence, for sufficiently short pulses the electrons outrun the pulse, terminating the acceleration. Limitations on the driver pulse duration and accelerating gradient, due to ionization and pulse lethargy, are estimated for the two ICA configurations. Maximum accelerating gradients and pulse durations are presented for 10 micron, 1 mm and 1 cm wavelength electromagnetic driver. The combination of ionization and pulse lethargy effects impose severe limitations on the maximum energy gain in inverse Cherenkov accelerators.

Descriptors :   *LASER PUMPING, *PARTICLE ACCELERATORS, ACCELERATION, ENERGY TRANSFER, GROUP VELOCITY, CERENKOV RADIATION, ELECTROMAGNETIC DRIVES, PHASE VELOCITY.

Subject Categories : Particle Accelerators

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE