Mutually guided light and particle beam propagation.
Additional Document Info
The polarizability of atoms and molecules gives rise to optical forces that trap particles and a refractive index that guides light beams, potentially leading to a self-guided laser and particle beam propagation. In this paper, the mutual interactions between an expanding particle beam and a diffracting light beam are investigated using an axisymmetric particle-light coupled simulation. The nonlinear coupling between particles and photons is dependent on the particle beam radius, particle density, particle velocity and temperature, polarizability, light beam waist, light frequency (with respect to the resonance frequency), and light intensity. The computational results show that the maximum propagation distance is achieved when the waveguiding effect is optimized to single-mode operation. The application of the coupled beam propagation as a space propulsion system is discussed.