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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Stimulated scattering in a plasma filling an optical cavity Myra, James Richard


Stimulated scattering processes in a homogeneous plasma inside an optical cavity are studied theoretically. In particular, attention is focussed on the Raman and Brillouin instabilities. The coupled equations for the wave amplitudes are solved subject to optical cavity boundary conditions and it is shown that for a wide range of plasma lengths and cavity mirror reflectivities, the threshold values for instability are approximately those for the temporal problem (waves uniform in space, growth or decay in time). Sample results are calculated numerically for the Raman instability in a typical laboratory plasma. The threshold values of incident laser intensity are easily exceeded with presently available, high powered (200 MW) CO₂ lasers. Finally, the physical significance of these results is discussed, and a generalization to the case of an inhomogeneous plasma is suggested.

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