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Laser-acceleration of high-energy short proton beams and applications

Patrizio Antici, Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Via E. Fermi 40, 00044 Frascati, Italy ILE - Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS –ENSTA – Iogs - UP Sud, Batterie de l’Yvette, 91761 Palaiseau, France
Vendredi 29 janvier 2010 à 10h30 - Salle des Séminaires

The development of ultra-intense high-energy (>> 1J) short (< 1ps) laser pulses in the last decade has enabled new regimes of particle acceleration and nuclear physics. In particular, it was discovered that short pulse (<1 ps) proton beams with energies of up to tens of MeV, low divergence (?20º) and very high luminosity could be electrostatically accelerated on the rear surface of solid targets irradiated by an in a very short duration ( 1 ps). These beams are interesting for a number of applications such as in the medical field, nuclear physics, astrophysics, high energy density physics, proton radiography. However, the obtained proton beam parameters are still not satisfying the demanding requirements, e.g., in terms of maximum proton energy or brilliance. Much effort is therefore put to better understand the acceleration mechanism in order to improve the proton beam characteristics and make them comparable to conventional accelerator beams. I will present recent results on the acceleration mechanism and possible ways to improve some characteristics of the proton beam. Furthermore I will discuss some applications that are currently tailored for such beams, e.g. in the field of high-energy density physics and give an outlook about future developments.