Simulations Pave the Way to New Source of THz Radiation

The terahertz frequency range is one of the last regions of the electromagnetic spectrum still to be fully exploited in everyday life, despite its potential for numerous applications in spectroscopy, biomedicine and communication technology. This is because THz radiation, with a wavelength of 0.1-1 mm, is difficult to generate by optical or electronic means, and until now was only accessible using large accelerator facilities. In a recent article in Physical Review Letters, Wei-Min Wang and Paul Gibbon from JSC, together with collaborators at the University of Strathclyde and the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing presented a new scheme that uses shortpulse lasers to expand the capabilities of terahertz sources currently being developed. Using a series of extensive calculations performed on Jülich’s supercomputer JUQUEEN, the authors showed how circularly polarized, multi-cycle THz pulses can be generated with the help of a strong, externally imposed magnetic field. The experimental realisation of this new source presents a formidable technical challenge, but would considerably expand the application potential of THz radiation. The original article can be viewed at
(Contact: Prof. Paul Gibbon,

JSC News No. 232, July 2015

Last Modified: 05.07.2022