Vacuum electron acceleration by a tightly focused, radially polarized, relativistically strong laser pulse
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A test particle approach is used to solve the problem of direct electron acceleration by a short, intense, radially polarized laser pulse the focal spot diameter of which can be on the order of the laser wavelength. The fields of a tightly focused laser beam are described in terms of the Stratton-Chu integrals, with which to investigate electron acceleration when the paraxial approximation is inapplicable to laser fields. The dynamics of electron motion in a radially polarized, relativistically strong laser field is analyzed depending on the initial position of an electron in the focal region of the laser beam. The properties of the generated jets of accelerated electrons are investigated depending on the tightness of laser pulse focusing. Possible advantages of using radially polarized laser pulses for charged particle acceleration, as opposed to the use of linearly polarized ones, are discussed.
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