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Title: Optics in the relativistic regime

Abstract

The advent of ultraintense laser pulses generated by the technique of chirped pulse amplification (CPA) along with the development of high-fluence laser materials has opened up an entirely new field of optics. The electromagnetic field intensities produced by these techniques, in excess of 10{sup 18} W/cm{sup 2}, lead to relativistic electron motion in the laser field. The CPA method is reviewed and the future growth of laser technique is discussed, including the prospect of generating the ultimate power of a zettawatt. A number of consequences of relativistic-strength optical fields are surveyed. In contrast to the nonrelativistic regime, these laser fields are capable of moving matter more effectively, including motion in the direction of laser propagation. One of the consequences of this is wakefield generation, a relativistic version of optical rectification, in which longitudinal field effects could be as large as the transverse ones. In addition to this, other effects may occur, including relativistic focusing, relativistic transparency, nonlinear modulation and multiple harmonic generation, and strong coupling to matter and other fields (such as high-frequency radiation). A proper utilization of these phenomena and effects leads to the new technology of relativistic engineering, in which light-matter interactions in the relativistic regime drives themore » development of laser-driven accelerator science. A number of significant applications are reviewed, including the fast ignition of an inertially confined fusion target by short-pulsed laser energy and potential sources of energetic particles (electrons, protons, other ions, positrons, pions, etc.). The coupling of an intense laser field to matter also has implications for the study of the highest energies in astrophysics, such as ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, with energies in excess of 10{sup 20} eV. The laser fields can be so intense as to make the accelerating field large enough for general relativistic effects (via the equivalence principle) to be examined in the laboratory. It will also enable one to access the nonlinear regime of quantum electrodynamics, where the effects of radiative damping are no longer negligible. Furthermore, when the fields are close to the Schwinger value, the vacuum can behave like a nonlinear medium in much the same way as ordinary dielectric matter expanded to laser radiation in the early days of laser research.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Center for Ultrafast Optical Science and FOCUS Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 (United States) and Laboratoire d' Optique Appliquee, UMR 7639 ENSTA, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, Chemin de la Huniere, F-91761 Palaiseau CEDEX (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21013694
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Reviews of Modern Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 78; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.78.309; (c) 2006 The American Physical Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0034-6861
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; BEAM OPTICS; COSMIC RADIATION; ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS; ELECTRON BEAMS; ELECTRONS; EQUIVALENCE PRINCIPLE; FOCUSING; HARMONIC GENERATION; LASER MATERIALS; LASER RADIATION; MODULATION; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; PARAMETRIC AMPLIFIERS; POSITRONS; PROTONS; PULSES; QUANTUM ELECTRODYNAMICS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SHORT WAVE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Mourou, Gerard A, Tajima, Toshiki, Bulanov, Sergei V, Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215, and Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215. Optics in the relativistic regime. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1103/REVMODPHYS.78.309.
Mourou, Gerard A, Tajima, Toshiki, Bulanov, Sergei V, Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215, & Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215. Optics in the relativistic regime. United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/REVMODPHYS.78.309
Mourou, Gerard A, Tajima, Toshiki, Bulanov, Sergei V, Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215, and Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215. 2006. "Optics in the relativistic regime". United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/REVMODPHYS.78.309.
@article{osti_21013694,
title = {Optics in the relativistic regime},
author = {Mourou, Gerard A and Tajima, Toshiki and Bulanov, Sergei V and Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215 and Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 8-1 Umemidai, Kizu, Souraku, Kyoto, 619-0215},
abstractNote = {The advent of ultraintense laser pulses generated by the technique of chirped pulse amplification (CPA) along with the development of high-fluence laser materials has opened up an entirely new field of optics. The electromagnetic field intensities produced by these techniques, in excess of 10{sup 18} W/cm{sup 2}, lead to relativistic electron motion in the laser field. The CPA method is reviewed and the future growth of laser technique is discussed, including the prospect of generating the ultimate power of a zettawatt. A number of consequences of relativistic-strength optical fields are surveyed. In contrast to the nonrelativistic regime, these laser fields are capable of moving matter more effectively, including motion in the direction of laser propagation. One of the consequences of this is wakefield generation, a relativistic version of optical rectification, in which longitudinal field effects could be as large as the transverse ones. In addition to this, other effects may occur, including relativistic focusing, relativistic transparency, nonlinear modulation and multiple harmonic generation, and strong coupling to matter and other fields (such as high-frequency radiation). A proper utilization of these phenomena and effects leads to the new technology of relativistic engineering, in which light-matter interactions in the relativistic regime drives the development of laser-driven accelerator science. A number of significant applications are reviewed, including the fast ignition of an inertially confined fusion target by short-pulsed laser energy and potential sources of energetic particles (electrons, protons, other ions, positrons, pions, etc.). The coupling of an intense laser field to matter also has implications for the study of the highest energies in astrophysics, such as ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, with energies in excess of 10{sup 20} eV. The laser fields can be so intense as to make the accelerating field large enough for general relativistic effects (via the equivalence principle) to be examined in the laboratory. It will also enable one to access the nonlinear regime of quantum electrodynamics, where the effects of radiative damping are no longer negligible. Furthermore, when the fields are close to the Schwinger value, the vacuum can behave like a nonlinear medium in much the same way as ordinary dielectric matter expanded to laser radiation in the early days of laser research.},
doi = {10.1103/REVMODPHYS.78.309},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/21013694}, journal = {Reviews of Modern Physics},
issn = {0034-6861},
number = 2,
volume = 78,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {4}
}