Extremely small and fast: Laser ignites hot plasma

19.09. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

When light pulses from an extremely powerful laser system are fired onto material samples, the electric field of the light rips the electrons off the atomic nuclei. For fractions of a second, a plasma is created. The electrons couple with the laser light in the process, thereby reaching nearly the speed of light. When flying out of the material sample, they pull the atomic cores (ions) behind them. In order to investigate this complex acceleration process experimentally, researchers from the German research center Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have developed a novel type of diagnostics for innovative laser-based particle accelerators. Their results are now published in the journal Physical Review X.

Plasma optic combines lasers into superbeam

17.10. 2017 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Since its introduction in the 1977 film "Star Wars," the Death Star has remained one of science fiction's most iconic figures. The image of Alderaan's destruction at the hands of the Death Star's superlaser is burned into the memory of millions of fans.