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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Warm wavebreaking of nonlinear plasma waves with arbitrary phase velocities

  • Author(s): Schroeder, C.B.
  • Esarey, E.
  • Shadwick, B.A.
  • et al.

A warm, relativistic fluid theory of a nonequilibrium, collisionless plasma is developed to analyze nonlinear plasma waves excited byintense drive beams. The maximum amplitude and wavelength are calculated for nonrelativistic plasma temperatures and arbitrary plasma wave phase velocities. The maximum amplitude is shown to increase in the presence of a laser field. These results set a limit to the achievable gradient in plasma-based accelerators.

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