The radiative kicked oscillator: A stochastic web or chaotic attractor? Academic Article uri icon


  • A relativistic charged particle moving in a uniform magnetic field and kicked by an electric field is considered. Under the assumption of small magnetic field, an iterative map is developed. We consider both the case in which no radiation is assumed and the radiative case, using the Lorentz-Dirac equation to describe the motion. Comparison between the non-radiative case and the radiative case shows that in both cases, one can observe a stochastic web structure for weak magnetic fields, and although there are global differences in the result of the map, that both cases are qualitatively similar in their small scale behavior. We also develop an iterative map for strong magnetic fields. In that case, the web structure no longer exists; it is replaced by a rich chaotic behavior. It is shown that the particle does not diffuse to infinite energy; it is limited by the boundaries of an attractor (the boundaries are generally much smaller than light velocity). Bifurcation occurs, converging rapidly to Feigenbaum's universal constant. The chaotic behavior appears to be robust. For intermediate magnetic fields, it is more difficult to observe the web structure, and the influence of the unstable fixed point is weaker.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002