Statistical properties of a free-electron laser revealed by Hanbury Brown-Twiss interferometry

O. Yu Gorobtsov, G. Mercurio, G. Brenner, U. Lorenz, N. Gerasimova, R. P. Kurta, F. Hieke, P. Skopintsev, I. Zaluzhnyy, S. Lazarev, D. Dzhigaev, M. Rose, A. Singer, W. Wurth, I. A. Vartanyants

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comprehensive experimental analysis of statistical properties of the self-amplified spontaneous emission free-electron laser (FEL) FLASH by means of Hanbury Brown and Twiss interferometry. The experiments were performed at FEL wavelengths of 5.5, 13.4, and 20.8 nm. We determined the second-order intensity correlation function for all wavelengths and different operation conditions of FLASH. In all experiments a high degree of spatial coherence (above 50%) was obtained. Our analysis performed in spatial and spectral domains provided us with the independent measurements of an average pulse duration of the FEL that were below 60 fs. To explain the complicated behavior of the second-order intensity correlation function we developed an advanced theoretical model that includes the presence of multiple beams and external positional jitter of the FEL pulses. By this analysis we determined that in one of the experiments external positional jitter was about 25% of the beam size. We envision that methods developed in our study will be used widely for analysis and diagnostics of FEL radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023843
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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