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Coherent nonlinear Thomson scattering using a relativistic electron beam has been obtained and can be used to generate attosecond X-ray pulses. When the laser intensity becomes relativistic (>1018 W/cm2), an electron conducts relativistic oscillatory motion, causing radiation with a harmonic spectrum. Under a plane-wave approximation, an analytic formula to describe the coherent spectrum generated from an electron beam has been developed. This formula leads to a condition, under which the radiations scattered from different electrons in an electron beam might coherently add. We find that with an electron beam of a few tens of nanometers in length, an X-ray pulse with a pulse length of a few tens of attoseconds can be generated. Including the finite focal size of the laser pulse, we have estimated that a few tens of terawatts will be required to demonstrate coherent nonlinear Thomson scattering.


Coherent nonlinear Thomson scattering using a relativistic electron beam has been obtained and can be used to generate attosecond X-ray pulses. When the laser intensity becomes relativistic (>1018 W/cm2), an electron conducts relativistic oscillatory motion, causing radiation with a harmonic spectrum. Under a plane-wave approximation, an analytic formula to describe the coherent spectrum generated from an electron beam has been developed. This formula leads to a condition, under which the radiations scattered from different electrons in an electron beam might coherently add. We find that with an electron beam of a few tens of nanometers in length, an X-ray pulse with a pulse length of a few tens of attoseconds can be generated. Including the finite focal size of the laser pulse, we have estimated that a few tens of terawatts will be required to demonstrate coherent nonlinear Thomson scattering.