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This paper presents an investigation of the coupling of high‐power Gaussian laser beams with electron plasma waves in a collisionless plasma. The Gaussian intensity distribution of the laser beam causes the redistribution of the carriers in the transverse plane due to a ponderomotive force and is shown to lead to the enhancement in the amplitude of the plasma wave. Stimulated Raman scattering of the laser beam corresponding to the modified plasma wave has also been evaluated.