Properties of electrons scattered by a strong plane electromagnetic wave with a linear polarization: Semiclassical treatment

O. V. Bogdanov, Petr Olegovich Kazinskii

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The problem of scattering of ultrarelativistic electrons by a strong plane electromagnetic wave of a low (optical) frequency and linear polarization is solved in the semiclassical approximation, when the electron wave packet size is much smaller than the wavelength of electromagnetic wave. The exit momenta of ultrarelativistic electrons scattered are found using the exact solutions to the equations of motion with radiation reaction included (the Landau-Lifshitz equation). It is found that the momentum components of electrons traversed the electromagnetic wave depend weakly on the initial values of momenta. These electrons are mostly scattered at small angles to the propagation direction of the electromagnetic wave. The maximum Lorentz factor of electrons crossed the electromagnetic wave is proportional to the work done by the electromagnetic field and is independent of the initial momentum. The momentum component parallel to the electric field vector of the electromagnetic wave is determined solely by the laser beam diameter measured in the units of the classical electron radius. As for the reflected electrons, they for the most part lose the energy, but remain relativistic. A reflection law that relates the incident and reflection angles and is independent of any parameters is found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalJETP Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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