Abstract

A general numerical approach is described that allows obtaining model sets of temporal pulse shapes of free- electron lasers (FELs) operating in the self-amplified spontaneous emission mode. Based on a random partial- coherence approach, sets of pulse shapes can be calculated that satisfy statistical criteria of FEL light predicted by established FEL theory. Importantly, the numerically retrieved sets of pulses reproduce the experimentally accessible FEL light characteristics as measured at the Free-electron LASer at Hamburg (FLASH), such as the average spectrum, single-shot spectral shape, and pulse duration. The high-precision agreement with the experimental average spectral shape, without further knowledge of FEL machine parameters, makes this approach a convenient tool for the analysis and theoretical modeling of nonlinear optical or pump–probe experiments with FEL light.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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