Theories, experiments and numerical simulations on the interaction of electromagnetic waves with rapidly created unmagnetized plasmas are presented. In the case that plasma is created uniformly, the frequency of a propagating electromagnetic wave is upshifted. An opposite propagation wave of the same frequency is also generated. In addition, a static current supporting a wiggler magnetic field is also produced in the plasma. When a spatially periodic structure is introduced to the rapidly created plasma, the theory and numerical simulation results show that both frequency-upshifted and downshifted waves are generated. If the plasma has a large but finite dimension in the incident wave propagation direction and is created rapidly rather than instantaneously, the frequency downshifted waves are found to be trapped by the plasma when the plasma frequency is larger than the wave frequency. The wave trapping results in accumulating the frequency-downshifted waves during the finite transient period of plasma creation. Indeed, in the experimental observations the frequency downshifted signals were detected repetitively with considerably enhanced spectral intensities, confirming the results of the numerical simulations. The missing of frequency upshifted signals in the experimental observations is explained by the modal field distributions in the periodic structure, indicating that the frequency upshifted modes experience heavier collisional damping of the plasma than the frequency downshifted modes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Mathematical Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics