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Optical Engineering

High average power free-electron lasers
Author(s): Joseph Blau; Keith Cohn; William B. Colson
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Paper Abstract

Ever since the first free-electron laser (FEL) was both conceived and demonstrated in the 1970s at Stanford, it has attracted much attention as a promising foundation for a high average power light source. Since its light is produced from free electrons, an FEL can be designed to lase at virtually any wavelength. Furthermore, since its light is generated from a relativistic beam that is continually replenished, its gain medium cannot be damaged by any conventional means. Accordingly, as there have been several ambitious attempts to design and construct high average power FELs over the past several decades, we chronicle some of these efforts. Additionally, we provide an overview of FEL technology and theory, discuss some of the obstacles that remain in the construction of a high-power FEL, and provide a road map toward a megawatt-class device.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 November 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(2) 021013 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.2.021013
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph Blau, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
Keith Cohn, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
William B. Colson, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)

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