Abstract by Jacob Barker
Physics and Astronomy
3D Visualization of Light Scattered by a Free Electron in a Relativistic Laser Focus
A focused intense laser pulse can rip multiple electrons from atoms. At low density, the liberated electrons move freely in the laser field in response to the Lorentz force. The movement of a charged particle causes electromagnetic radiation to scatter out of the focus. In our lab, we study these laser-particle interactions by looking at the scattered electromagnetic radiation. As the laser intensity increases, electrons can reach relativistic speeds as they oscillate. Few people have intuition this complex motion and radiation. I developed a computer simulation that animates these interactions in a physically realistic manner. I will discuss the development of the simulation and present several animations of scenarios similar to our experiments.