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Spin-Induced Forces and Three-Dimensional Exact SolutionsRatings: (0)|Views: 32|Likes: 2

Published by sid_senadheera

For Venkatakrishnan... the Laser Physics man that doesn't understand how Quantum Mechanics and Laser Physics is connected.

For Venkatakrishnan... the Laser Physics man that doesn't understand how Quantum Mechanics and Laser Physics is connected.

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https://www.scribd.com/doc/71565620/Spin-Induced-Forces-and-Three-Dimensional-Exact-Solutions

11/04/2011

text

original

275

Laser Physics, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2005, pp. 275–281.

Original Text Copyright © 2005 by Astro, Ltd.Copyright © 2005 by

MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”

(Russia).

1. INTRODUCTIONThe motion of a relativistically driven electron is afundamental problem in laser physics. It is well-knownthat the classical trajectory of a relativistic electron asgiven by the Lorentz force for the case of a linearlypolarized laser ﬁeld is a plane trajectory. The plane isdeﬁned by the polarization and the propagation direc-tion. When boosting this trajectory to the average restframe, the typical ﬁgure-eight motion is evident [1].In the quantum-relativistic context, the electrondynamics is governed by Dirac wave equation, and thespin of the electron also plays a role in the motion of thedriven electron. The spin couples to the electromag-netic ﬁeld associated to the laser and generates a forcethat depends on the orientation of the spin. Of course,this force for the electron is much smaller than the cou-pling of the electrical charge to the laser ﬁeld. What isrelevant to the spin force is that, for certain spin orien-tations, it can slightly deﬂect the electron from theSarachik and Schappert ﬁgure-eight motion [1]. As aconsequence, the electron (or, strictly speaking, theexpected value of the electron’s position) can moveapart from the nonquantum plane of the trajectory.Thus, the ﬁgure-eight is no longer so; rather, it looks inrelativistic quantum mechanics like a peculiar helix thatdepends on the orientation of the spin.Moreover, there is no possibility, at least to ourknowledge, of predicting a three-dimensional motionunder these circumstances with the classical theory.This is not so in the quantum context. It was foundrecently by Walser and Keitel [2] that a quantum elec-tron in the presence of a linearly polarized electromag-netic ﬁeld can have a three-dimensional motion due tothe spin–ﬁeld interaction. This result was obtained byusing the nonrelativistic limit [3] of the Foldy–Wouthuysen transformation of the Dirac equation [4].They found a special initial conﬁguration of the spin of the particle such that the three-dimensional motion wasinduced due to what they called the spin force.This type of phenomena that is related to the spinmust appear naturally by solving the Dirac equation[5], because it includes all the relativistic effectsbesides the spin of the particle and all the spin–ﬁeldinteractions. For a general problem, it is not possible tosolve the Dirac equation, but the relativistic free drivenelectron is one of a few systems that have exact analyt-ical solutions for the Dirac equation, namely, theVolkov solutions [6–8]. Moreover, we can represent alocalized driven electron by constructing Volkov wave-packets [9–11], which constitute a much more realisticsystem. With these wavepackets, we will be able to cal-culate numerically the exact three-dimensional evolu-tion of the expectation value of the position operator, inorder to evaluate how it is affected by the spin–ﬁeldcoupling. Unfortunately, it is very difﬁcult to obtainclosed analytical expressions for those expectation val-ues directly from the Dirac equation. For this reason,some simpliﬁcations of the equation, such as theFoldy–Wouthuysen transformation [4], have been cho-sen as a ﬁrst step instead of the complete Dirac equa-tion, as we have mentioned above. Although this is theonly possibility for ﬁnding analytical expressions forthis problem, this description has some approxima-tions, namely, neglecting the ﬁeld retardation and high-order 1/

c

corrections, which come from the Foldy–Wouthuysen transformation and which could compro-mise the result.

Spin-Induced Forces and Three-Dimensional Exact Solutionsof the Dirac Equation for Laser-Driven Relativistic Electrons

J. San Roman, L. Roso*, and L. Plaja

Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidad de Salamanca, E-37008 Salamanca, Spain

*e-mail: roso@aida.usal.esReceived September 2, 2004

Abstract—We present computed exact solutions to the three-dimensional Dirac equation describing an electrondriven by a strong short-frequency laser pulse. The method is based on a collection of Volkov solutions, includ-ing the four components of the relativistic Dirac electron, and, thus, includes all the quantum-relativistic fea-tures included in the single-particle Dirac equation, the lower components of the wavefunction, positive chargedynamics, Zitterwebegung, etc. Therefore, complete information on spin dynamics is included in the solutions.In particular, we have been able to see the change in the electron’s expected position due to the spin forces. Theyare a clear evidence of such forces, and this is the ﬁrst exact study on how these spin forces modify the expectedtrajectory of the laser-driven electron. In particular, for the case of a linearly polarized laser ﬁeld, the spin-induced force may change the typical planar trajectory expected from the relativistic Lorentz equation. For thelinearly polarized case, when the spin of the electron is initially oriented along the direction of the laser mag-netic ﬁeld, the electron still follows the plane indicated by the Lorentz equation, and when the spin of the elec-tron is initially perpendicular to the laser magnetic ﬁeld, the spin force drives the electron out of that plane.

STRONG FIELDPHENOMENA

276

LASER PHYSICS

Vol. 15

No. 2

2005

SAN ROMAN

et al

.

In this paper, we ﬁnally prove the existence of thespin force by computing the exact solutions to the Diracequation describing a three-dimensional electron inter-acting with a superstrong ultrashort-wavelength laserpulse. This wavepacket has nontrivial features, one of which is the presence of the spin-induced force of thetype predicted by Walser and Keitel.All of the present results are exact three-dimen-sional solutions of the Dirac equation, without anyrestriction on the energy of the electron. Although weare considering analytical solutions, the results needconsiderable numerical effort. The price we must pay isthe absence of an atomic structure: we are not able tocompute the Coulomb ﬁeld of the atomic core. How-ever, for ultrastrong ﬁelds, this is not as restrictive as itmight appear, because the Coulomb barrier is sup-pressed well below the onset of relativistic effects, andthen the electron behaves as a free particle when thepeak intensity arrives. Therefore, the key point if ourtechnique is going to be close to experiment is to con-sider a realistic initial electronic wavepacket for thereleased electron (which can be obtained even in thenonrelativistic domain). The motion of this initialwavepacket can be monitored with the present tech-nique. However, the frequencies and intensities neededto account for the spin dynamics lie well beyond pres-ently available lasers.2. EXACT SOLUTIONS OF THE DIRACEQUATION FOR AN ELECTROMAGNETICPLANE-WAVE PULSEWe study the Dirac equation for a free electron inter-acting with an electromagnetic ﬁeld. Let us rememberthe structure of the Dirac equation in the presence of anexternal ﬁeld:(1)The external ﬁeld was introduced in the equation by thefour-vector

A

μ

following the

minimal coupling

pre-scription. In our particular case, the four-vector poten-tial represents the electromagnetic (e.m.) ﬁeld associ-ated with the laser. Moreover, we have to keep in mindthat the electron is assumed to be far from the nucleus,so the Coulomb scalar potential does not appear. Theassumption of the absence of the nucleus, together withthe possibility of expressing the e.m. ﬁeld without ascalar potential, leads to the possibility of writing theexternal ﬁeld only in terms of the three-dimensionalvector potential, namely,

A

μ

= (0,

A

). The calculation of the solutions to Eq. (1) with

A

μ

(

x

) = (0,

A

(

x

)) was ﬁrstdone by D.M. Volkov [6] 25 years before the laser wasdiscovered. Volkov found the solutions of Eq. (1) fromthe second-order Dirac equation following a very intel-ligent scheme. He knew that the second-order Diracequation has extra solutions that do not verify the ﬁrst-order Dirac equation. For that reason, after having

γ

μ

i

∂∂

x

μ

--------

qc

---

A

μ

x

()

–

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

mc

–

Ψ

x

()

0.= obtained the second-order solutions, he forced them tofulﬁll the ﬁrst-order Dirac equation, obtaining some con-ditions for certain terms. This second step assures that thesolutions correspond to the ﬁrst-order Dirac equation.Most of the work by Volkov was done only mono-chromatic waves. An important improvement in thestudy of the Volkov problem, moving it out of themonochromatic regime, appeared in the 1960s after thediscovery of the laser. Brown and Kibble [7] presentedin a very compact form the Volkov solutions for an e.m.ﬁeld pulse and applied them to the study of the Comp-ton scattering. A.I. Nikishov and V.I. Ritus [8] simulta-neously found exactly the same compact generalizationof the Volkov solutions and applied it to obtain theprobability of different processes, such as the radiationof a photon from an electron, pair production by pho-tons, and others. Both papers employ a very compactform of the Volkov functions to describe an arbitrarytime proﬁle of a plane-wave laser ﬁeld. It must beremarked that Volkov, in his 1935 paper [6], pointed outthe possibility of including a polychromatic electro-magnetic ﬁeld. In any case, the method used by Brownand Kibble and Nikishov and Ritus ends with a muchmore compact form of the solution. Their procedure isvery similar to the one developed to obtain the mono-chromatic Volkov solutions. The only—though veryimportant—difference is the dependence of the vectorpotential, which, in the present case, is assumed to be

A

μ

≡

(0,

A

(

ϕ

)), where

ϕ

= (

s

·

x

) and

s

μ

≡

(1,

s

) is a four-vector whose spatial component,

s

, is a unitary vectorin the direction of propagation of the e.m. ﬁeld. Due tothe transversality of the e.m. ﬁeld, (

s

·

A

) = 0, and, dueto the unitarity of

s

, (

s

·

s

) = 0. Bearing in mind the def-inition of

ϕ

, it is possible to ﬁnd the following foursolutions:(2)with(3)Here,

p

μ

is the canonical four-momentum with ﬁxedmodulus (

p

μ

p

μ

=

m

2

c

2

); the

w

r

(

p

), where

r

= 1, 2, 3, 4,are the four possible solutions of the Dirac equation fora free particle of momentum

p

. Details on our proce-dure for studying such Volkov wavepacket dynamicscan be found in [9–11]. It is important to remark thatthe only restriction on the application of those solutionsis the need for a deﬁnite propagation direction. There isno assumption made regarding the time proﬁle, and theprocedure can be applied to arbitrarily short pulses.

Ψ

p

r

t

x

,()

mc

2

2

π()

3

E

-----------------

1

ε

r

qsA

ϕ()

2

csp

⋅()

---------------------+

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

w

r

p

()

e

iS

,=

r

1234,

,,,

=

S

ε

r

px

⋅

----------–=–

qA

ϕ

'

()

p

⋅()

csp

⋅()

------------------------------

ε

r

q

2

A

2

ϕ

'

()

2

c

2

sp

⋅()

---------------------------–

ϕ

'.

d

∞

–

sx

⋅

∫

LASER PHYSICS

Vol. 15

No. 2

2005

SPIN-INDUCED FORCES AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL EXACT SOLUTIONS277

3. THREE-DIMENSIONAL SOLUTIONSOF THE DIRAC EQUATION: SPIN DYNAMICSTo calculate solutions to the Dirac equation describ-ing a relativistic three-dimensional electron driven by astrong laser pulse, we consider Volkov wavepackets of the type(4)where (

t

,

x

) is the well-known Volkov spinor for ageneral electromagnetic ﬁeld pulse [6–8]. As wasalready pointed out [9, 10], once we have set a particu-lar initial condition we can calculate the appropriatecoefﬁcients

c

r

(

p

) for representing the time evolution of such an electron. We use the following initial conditionfor the wavepacket:(5)where

a

r

'

represents the contribution of each

r

'Volkov wave function. We have chosen a linearlypolarized plane-wave pulse of the form

A

μ

(

s

·

x

)

≡

(0,

A

0

f

(

s

·

x

)cos(

k

(

s

·

x

))

u

y

), where

s

≡

(1,

s

);

s

is a uni-tary vector in the propagation direction, which, in thiscase, is taken to be the

x

direction, and

f

(

s

·

x

) is thepulse shape, which is assumed to be a sine squared:(6)where

x

0

and

σ

are the center and the pulse length,respectively, at the initial time

t

0

. To compute the exactevolution of the three-dimensional Volkov wavepacket,we have to calculate ﬁrst the coefﬁcients correspondingto initial condition (5). Following [10], we obtain thefollowing:(7)

Φ

t

x

,()

p

c

r

p

()Ψ

p

r

t

x

,()

,

d

∞

–

∞

∫

r

1=4

∑

=

Ψ

p

r

Φ

t

0

x

,()

Ne

x

2

2

d

2

---------–

a

r

'

Ψ

q

0=

r

'

t

0

x

,()

,

r

'1=4

∑

=

fsx

⋅()

=0,

sx

σ

–

x

0

,+

<⋅π

2---

sxx

0

–

⋅()σ

-------------------------

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

,–

σ

cos

2

x

0

sx

σ

x

0

,+

≤⋅≤

+0,

sx

σ

x

0

,+

>⋅⎩⎪⎪⎨⎪⎪⎧

c

1

p

()

a

1

a

3

cp

z

Emc

2

+-------------------

a

4

cp

–

Emc

2

+-------------------++

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

g

p

()

,=

c

2

p

()

a

2

a

3

cp

+

Emc

2

+-------------------–

a

4

cp

z

Emc

2

+-------------------+

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

g

p

()

,=

c

3

p

()

a

1

cp

z

Emc

2

+-------------------

a

2

cp

–

Emc

2

+-------------------

a

3

++

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

g

p

()

,=

c

4

p

()

a

1

cp

+

Emc

2

+-------------------–

a

2

cp

z

Emc

2

+-------------------

a

4

+

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

g

p

()

,=where we have deﬁned

p

±

=

p

x

±

ip

y

, and(8)with

S

= .The typical time evolution of a Volkov wavepacketin a linearly polarized ultrastrong laser ﬁeld is shown inFig. 1 in the plane of the classical trajectory (and, thus,for a projection in which the spin-induced force doesnot play any signiﬁcant role). Besides the free expan-sion of the wavepacket, there is squeezing due to thecombination of the relativistic Lorentz contraction andthe retardation of the laser pulse that moves the leadingpart of the packet with a slightly different phase thanthe rear part. This typical structure is more clearlyshown in Fig. 2 for three given times. Such a structure

g

p

()

1

S

-------

Emc

2

+2

E

-------------------

p

2

d

2

2--------------–

⎝⎠ ⎛⎞

,exp=

a

r

2

r

1=4

∑

y

,

au

3020100 –10 –20 –300 10 20 30

x

,

au

Fig. 1.

Typical evolution of a Volkov wavepacket shown inthe plane of the classical trajectory (solid line) in the pres-ence of an electromagnetic ﬁeld of frequency 2.0 au andamplitude of the vector potential 10000 au The initial con-dition of Eq. (5) corresponds to

d

= au and

a

1

=

a

4

= 1,and

a

2

=

a

3

= 0. The negative energy components move onlyin the opposite direction and follow the classical trajectoryof a positively charged particle (dashed line).2

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