Numerical simulations of X-ray free electron lasers (XFEL)

Paolo Antonelli, Agissilaos Athanassoulis, Zhongyi Huang, Peter A. Markowich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We study a nonlinear Schrödinger equation which arises as an effective single particle model in X-ray free electron lasers (XFEL). This equation appears as a first principles model for the beam-matter interactions that would take place in an XFEL molecular imaging experiment in [A.Fratalocchi and G. Ruocco, Phys. Rev. Lett., 106 (2011), 105504]. Since XFEL are more powerful by several orders of magnitude than more conventional lasers, the systematic investigation of many of the standard assumptions and approximations has attracted increased attention. In this model the electrons move under a rapidly oscillating electromagnetic field, and the convergence of the problem to an effective time-averaged one is examined. We use an operator splitting pseudospectral method to investigate numerically the behavior of the model versus that of its time-averaged version in complex situations, namely the energy subcritical/mass supercritical case and in the presence of a periodic lattice. We find the time-averaged model to be an effective approximation, even close to blowup, for fast enough oscillations of the external field. This work extends previous analytical results for simpler cases [P. Antonelli, A. Athanassoulis, H. Hajaiej, and P. Markowich, Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal., 211 (2014), pp. 711-732].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1621
Number of pages15
JournalMultiscale Modeling and Simulation: A SIAM Interdisciplinary Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2014


  • Bloch decomposition
  • Nonlinear Schrödinger equation
  • Time-splitting spectral method
  • X-ray free electron laser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Ecological Modelling
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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