Longitudinal Dynamics of an Intense Electron Beam

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The dynamics of charged particle beams are governed by the particles' thermal velocities, external focusing forces, and Coulomb forces. Beams in which Coulomb forces play the dominant role are known as space charge dominated, or intense. Intense beams are of great interest for heavy ion fusion, spallation neutron sources, free-electron lasers, and other applications. In addition, all beams of interest are dominated by space charge forces when they are first created, so an understanding of space charge effects is critical to explain the later evolution of any beam. Historically, more attention has been paid to the transverse dynamics of beams. However, many interesting and important effects in beams occur along their length. These longitudinal effects can be limiting factors in many systems. For example, modulation or structure applied to the beam at low energy will evolve under space charge forces. Depending on the intended use of the beam and the nature of the modulation, this may result in improved or degraded performance.

To study longitudinal dynamics in intense beams, experiments were conducted using the University of Maryland Electron Ring, a 10 keV, 100 mA electron transport system.  These experiments concentrated on space charge driven changes in beam length in parabolic and rectangular beams, beam density and velocity modulation, and space charge wave propagation.  Coupling between the transverse and longitudinal dynamics was also investigated.  These experiments involved operating the UMER gun in space charge limited, temperature limited, triode amplification, photon limited, and hybrid modes.  Results of these experiments are presented here, along with a theoretical framework for understanding the longitudinal dynamics of intense beams.