Numerical growth of emittance in simulations of laser-wakefield acceleration

R. Lehe, A. Lifschitz, C. Thaury, V. Malka, X. Davoine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transverse emittance is a crucial feature of laser-wakefield accelerators, yet accurately reproducing its value in numerical simulations remains challenging. It is shown here that, when the charge of the bunch exceeds a few tens of picocoulombs, particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations erroneously overestimate the emittance. This is mostly due the interaction of spurious Cherenkov radiation with the bunch, which leads to a steady growth of emittance during the simulation. A new computational scheme is proposed, which is free of spurious Cherenkov radiation. It can be easily implemented in existing PIC codes and leads to a substantial reduction of the emittance growth. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTAB.16.021301

Original languageEnglish
Article number021301
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review Special Topics-Accelerators And Beams
Issue number2
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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