A continuous spectrum of electromagnetic radiation is produced when electrons traverse a dispersive medium at speeds exceeding the speed of light in the medium. This phenomenon is the well-known Cerenkov effect and has been studied extensively.1 On the other hand, a discrete spectrum is produced when electrons traveling in vacuum encounter intense laser light.2 Although these are two unrelated phenomena, Schneider and Spitzer3 claimed that they act synergistically to produce stimulated electromagnetic shock radiation (SESR) when relativistic electrons encounter coherent polarized electromagnetic waves in a weakly dispersive medium. The radiation was said to be narrowband, tunable, and the Intensity highly enhanced over Cerenkov as the electron speed crosses the Cerenkov threshold. Other theoretical work4 did not agree with these conclusions.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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