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Title: Making pions with laser light

Abstract

The interaction of high intensity short pulse laser beams with plasmas can accelerate electrons to energies in excess of a GeV. These electron beams can subsequently be used to generate short-lived particles such as positrons, muons, and pions. In recent experiments, we have made the first measurements of pion production using 'all optical' methods. In particular, we have demonstrated that the interaction of bremsstrahlung generated by laser driven electron beams with aluminum atoms can produce the long lived isotope of magnesium (27Mg) which is a signature for pion (π+) production and subsequent muon decay. Using a 300 TW laser pulse, we have measured the generation of 150 ± 50 pions per shot. Finally, we show that the energetic electron beam is a source of an intense, highly directional neutron beam resulting from (γ, n) reactions which contributes to the 27Mg measurement as background via the (n, p) process.

Authors:
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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES); National Science Foundation (NSF); US Army Research Office (ARO); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); National Research Council (CNR); National Inst. of Nuclear Physics (INFN); Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
OSTI Identifier:
1458840
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1461831
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515; ST/J002062/1; ELI-Italy; CN5-g-RESIST; EP/I029206/1; EP/L013975/1; W911NF-16-1-0044; NA0002372; FWP 100182; 1054164
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: New Journal of Physics Journal Volume: 20 Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; lasers; accelerators; plasmas; particle sources

Citation Formats

Schumaker, W., Liang, T., Clarke, R., Cole, J. M., Grittani, G., Kuschel, S., Mangles, S. P. D., Najmudin, Z., Poder, K., Sarri, G., Symes, D., Thomas, A. G. R., Vargas, M., Zepf, M., and Krushelnick, K. Making pions with laser light. United Kingdom: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aace0c.
Schumaker, W., Liang, T., Clarke, R., Cole, J. M., Grittani, G., Kuschel, S., Mangles, S. P. D., Najmudin, Z., Poder, K., Sarri, G., Symes, D., Thomas, A. G. R., Vargas, M., Zepf, M., & Krushelnick, K. Making pions with laser light. United Kingdom. doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/aace0c
Schumaker, W., Liang, T., Clarke, R., Cole, J. M., Grittani, G., Kuschel, S., Mangles, S. P. D., Najmudin, Z., Poder, K., Sarri, G., Symes, D., Thomas, A. G. R., Vargas, M., Zepf, M., and Krushelnick, K. Wed . "Making pions with laser light". United Kingdom. doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/aace0c.
@article{osti_1458840,
title = {Making pions with laser light},
author = {Schumaker, W. and Liang, T. and Clarke, R. and Cole, J. M. and Grittani, G. and Kuschel, S. and Mangles, S. P. D. and Najmudin, Z. and Poder, K. and Sarri, G. and Symes, D. and Thomas, A. G. R. and Vargas, M. and Zepf, M. and Krushelnick, K.},
abstractNote = {The interaction of high intensity short pulse laser beams with plasmas can accelerate electrons to energies in excess of a GeV. These electron beams can subsequently be used to generate short-lived particles such as positrons, muons, and pions. In recent experiments, we have made the first measurements of pion production using 'all optical' methods. In particular, we have demonstrated that the interaction of bremsstrahlung generated by laser driven electron beams with aluminum atoms can produce the long lived isotope of magnesium (27Mg) which is a signature for pion (π+) production and subsequent muon decay. Using a 300 TW laser pulse, we have measured the generation of 150 ± 50 pions per shot. Finally, we show that the energetic electron beam is a source of an intense, highly directional neutron beam resulting from (γ, n) reactions which contributes to the 27Mg measurement as background via the (n, p) process.},
doi = {10.1088/1367-2630/aace0c},
journal = {New Journal of Physics},
number = 7,
volume = 20,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/aace0c

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Making pions with laser light
    text, January 2018

    • Schumaker, W.; Liang, T.; Clarke, R.
    • GSI Helmholtzzentrum fuer Schwerionenforschung, GSI, Darmstadt
    • DOI: 10.15120/gsi-2018-00990

    Effective production of gammas, positrons, and photonuclear particles from optimized electron acceleration by short laser pulses in low-density targets
    journal, December 2019

    • Lobok, M. G.; Brantov, A. V.; Bychenkov, V. Yu.
    • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 26, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.5125968

    Generation of high-charge electron beam in a subcritical-density plasma through laser pulse self-trapping
    journal, November 2019

    • Bychenkov, V. Yu; Lobok, M. G.; Kovalev, V. F.
    • Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol. 61, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1088/1361-6587/ab5142