Stimulated electron-acoustic-wave scattering in a laser plasma
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Intense laser-plasma interaction can be a source of various electronic instabilities. Recently, stimulated backscattering from a trapped electron-acoustic wave (SEAS) [Montgomery , Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 155001 (2001)] was proposed to reinterpret spectra previously attributed to stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) from unrealistically low densities. By particle simulations in a uniform plasma layer, which is overdense for ordinary SRS, strong reflection by SEAS at the electron plasma frequency is found. Transient SEAS reflectivity pulsations are followed by strong relativistic heating of electrons. Physical conditions are explained by three-wave parametric coupling between laser light, standing backscattered wave and slow electron-acoustic wave. Regions in which SEAS reflection can dominate over SRS are singled out.