The acceleration of electrons in the longitudinal electron plasma wave (EPW) created in the wake of an ultra-intense layer pulse is examined analytically. Our analysis is one-dimensional and assumes a square-shaped pulse which propagates in a well underdense plasma with the velocity of light in vacuum. Acceleration length and accelerated electron energies are predicted as a function of the EPW phase velocity and the laser irradiance. Comparison with electron acceleration in the usual sinusoidal EPW created by a low-intensity laser pulse is done. © 1995.
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