The Nuclear Era of Laser Interactions: New Milestones in the History of Power Compression
A brief review of the history of power compression over a range encompassing approximately 40 orders of magnitude places laser–nuclear interactions roughly at the logarithmic midpoint of the scale at approximately 1020 W/cm3. The historical picture also motivates four conclusions, specifically, that (1) foreseen developments in power compression will enable laser-induced coupling to all nuclei, (2) conventional physical mechanisms will encounter a limit of Ωα ~ 1030 – 1031 W/cm3, a value approximately 1010 above the presently demonstrated capability, (3) the key to reaching the Ωα limit is the generation of relativistic/chargedisplacement self-trapped channels with multikilovolt X-rays in high-Z solids, a concept named “photon staging,” and (4) penetration into the 1030 –1040 W/cm3 zone, the highest range known and the region represented by processes of elementary particle decay, will require an understanding of new physical processes that are presumably tied to phenomena at the Planck scale.
KeywordsPower Density Nuclear Interaction Plasma Channel Sandia National Laboratory Composite State
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