U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Classical Theory of Radiation from Free Electrons course

Sponsoring University:

Stanford University


Classical Theory of Radiation from Free Electrons


Charles Brau, Vanderbilt University

This course will cover a broad variety of radiative processes involving free electrons, especially beams of high-energy electrons. Beginning with the general theory of radiation by relativistic and nonrelativistic charged particles, we will develop formulas for the Lienard-Wiechert fields, the spectral fluence, and the total power radiated, and we will formulate the method of virtual quanta. Using these tools, we will analyze Brehmsstrahlung, linear and nonlinear Thomson scattering, transition radiation, parametric x-rays, synchrotron radiation, undulator radiation, Smith-Purcell radiation, and Cherenkov radiation. In addition, we will discuss coherent radiation from multiple particles, and free-electron lasers of several types. Prerequisites: working knowledge of Fourier transforms and special relativity. Texts: Landau and Lifshitz, "The Classical Theory of Fields" and Jackson, "Classical Electrodynamics"