Special Plasma Physics Colloquium

Special Plasma Physics Colloquium
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
2:00 PM, Room 214 Mudd

"Sailing Before the Light: Laser-Plasma Acceleration Driven by Radiation Pressure"

A. Macchi
CNR/INO (National Institute of Optics, National Research Council) and
Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

In the last thirteen years laser-plasma acceleration of ions, recently reviewed in Refs.[1,2], has been one of the most active areas in plasma physics. Motivations can be found in the foreseen potential for the development of  compact ion accelerators for several scientific and technological applications. Such research also stimulates the strong increase of laser facilities bringing petawatt power on a national scale as well as the development of new generation "extreme" lasers. In such conditions in which the plasma is highly relativistic, the acceleration is expected to be dominated by the radiation pressure of the laser pulse. In this talk we review the basics of the acceleration  mechanism, also from a popular and historical perspective, and we discuss recent experimental [3] and simulation [4] results on the route to the  generation of GeV/nucleon ions.

[1] A. Macchi, M. Borghesi, M. Passoni, "Ion acceleration by superintense  laser-plasma interaction, Reviews of Modern Physics 85 (2013) 751.
[2] A. Macchi, "A Superintense Laser-Plasma Interaction Primer" (Springer, 2013).
[3] S. Kar et al, "Ion acceleration in multispecies targets driven by intense laser radiation pressure", Physical Review Letters 109 (2012) 185006.
[4] A. Macchi et al, "Advanced strategies for ion acceleration using high power lasers", arXiv:1306.6859

Host: Francesco Volpe

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