Abstract

We describe the quantum initiation for free-electron lasers and derive the collective instability threshold starting from the electron position and the momentum quantum fluctuations. We obtain the Glauber distribution P(α) for the field, that is, a displaced Gaussian, which represents the superposition of a coherent field (stimulated emission) and an incoherent one (spontaneous emission). We define and discuss the concept of superradiance for free-electron lasers, both in a classical framework and at a quantum statistical level, stating the conditions under which the effect should be observed.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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