It has been shown1(a),(b) in the framework of a classical treatment that FEL dynamics admits two completely different regimes associated with the roots of a characteristic cubic equation well known in the theory of traveling-wave tube amplifiers,2 namely, a stable regime in which the small signal regime theory3 is recovered, where the electrons radiate almost independently, and an unstable high-gain regime in which the electrons radiate cooperatively with an exponential growth of the radiation field and of the electron bunching parameter, leading to chaotic behavior.1(b)

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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