High Energy Electrons, Positrons and Photonuclear Reactions in Petawatt Laser-Solid Experiments

  • T. E. Cowan
  • A. W. Hunt
  • J. Johnson
  • M. D. Perry
  • W. Fountain
  • S. Hatchett
  • M. H. Key
  • T. Kuehl
  • T. Parnell
  • D. M. Pennington
  • T. W. Phillips
  • M. Roth
  • Y. Takahashi
  • S. C. Wilks

Abstract

The Petawatt laser at LLNL has opened a new regime of high-energy laser-matter interactions in which the quiver motion of plasma electrons is fully relativistic with energies extending well above the threshold for nuclear processes. We have observed that, in addition to the large flux of several MeV electrons ponderomotively expelled from the ultra-intense laser focus, there is a high energy component of electrons extending to ~100 MeV, apparently from relativistic self-focusing and plasma acceleration in the underdense pre-formed plasma. The generation of hard bremsstrahlung cascade as these electrons traverse the solid target material, and the resulting photo-nuclear reactions, nuclear fission, and positron-electron pair production are described.

Keywords

Nickel Mercury Attenuation Platinum Bromide 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. E. Cowan
    • 1
  • A. W. Hunt
    • 2
  • J. Johnson
    • 3
  • M. D. Perry
    • 1
  • W. Fountain
    • 4
  • S. Hatchett
    • 1
  • M. H. Key
    • 1
  • T. Kuehl
    • 5
  • T. Parnell
    • 4
  • D. M. Pennington
    • 1
  • T. W. Phillips
    • 1
  • M. Roth
    • 5
  • Y. Takahashi
    • 6
  • S. C. Wilks
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermore
  2. 2.Harvard UniversityCambridge
  3. 3.University Space Research AssociationHuntsville
  4. 4.Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsville
  5. 5.Gesellschaft für SchwerionenforschungDarmstadtGermany
  6. 6.University of AlabamaHuntsville

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