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The European Physical Journal D

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 519–529 | Cite as

Prospect for extreme field science

  • T. TajimaEmail author
Topical issue: Fundamental Physics and Ultra-High Laser Fields

Abstract

The kind of laser extreme light infrastructure (ELI) provides will usher in a class of experiments we have only dreamed of for years. The characteristics that ELI brings in include: the highest intensity ever, large fluence, and relatively high repetition rate. A personal view of the author on the prospect of harnessing this unprecedented opportunity for advancing science of extreme fields is presented. The first characteristic of ELI, its intensity, will allow us to access, as many have stressed already, extreme fields that hover around the Schwinger field or at the very least the neighboring fields in which vacuum begins to behave as a nonlinear medium. In this sense, we are seriously probing the “material” property of vacuum and thus the property that theory of relativity itself described and will entail. We will probe both special theory and general theory of relativity in regimes that have been never tested so far. We may see a glimpse into the reach of relativity or even its breakdown in some extreme regimes. We will learn Einstein and may even go beyond Einstein, if our journey is led. Laser-driven acceleration both by the laser field itself and by the wakefield that is triggered in a plasma is huge. Energies, if not luminosity, we can access, may be unprecedented going far beyond TeV. The nice thing about ELI is that it has relatively high repetition rate and average fluence as compared with other extreme lasers. This high fluence can be a key element that leads to applications to high energy physics, such as gamma-gamma collider driver experiment, and some gamma ray experiments that may be relevant in the frontier of photo-nuclear physics, and atomic energy applications. Needless to say, high fluence is one of most important features that industrial and medical applications may need. If we are lucky, we may see a door opens at the frontier of novel physics that may not be available by any other means. Finally, as the last lecture of this workshop the conference organizers charged this paper also to briefly reflect on the talks that have been given at the ELI meeting, which collectively pushed the envelope of the frontier of contemporary physics, an attempt is made to touch on as many talks as possible.

PACS

52.27.Ny Relativistic plasmas 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ludwig Maximilian University and Max Planck Institute for Quantum OpticsGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kyoto and KEKTsukubaJapan

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