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Title: From laser particle acceleration to the synthesis of extremely neutron rich isotopes via the novel fission-fusion mechanism

High-power, short pulse lasers have emerged in the last decade as attractive tools for accelerating charged particles (electrons, ions) to high energies over mm-scale acceleration lengths, thus promising to rival conventional acceleration techniques in the years ahead. In the first part of the article, the principles of laser-plasma interaction as well as the techniques and the current status of the acceleration of electron and ion beams will be briefly introduced. In particular with the upcoming next generation of multi-PW class laser systems, such as the one under construction for the ELI-Nuclear Physics project in Bucharest (ELI-NP), very efficient acceleration mechanisms for brilliant ion beams like radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) come into reach. Here, ultra-dense ion beams reaching solid-state density can be accelerated from thin target foils, exceeding the density of conventionally accelerated ion beams by about 14 orders of magnitude. This unique property of laser-accelerated ion beams can be exploited to explore the scenario of a new reaction mechanism called ‘fission-fusion’, which will be introduced in the second part of the article. Accelerating fissile species (e.g. {sup 232}Th) towards a second layer of the same material will lead to fission both of the beam-like and target-like particles. Due to themore » close to solid-state density of the accelerated ion bunches, fusion may occur between neutron-rich (light) fission products. This may open an access path towards extremely neutron-rich nuclides in the vicinity of the N=126 waiting point of the astrophysical r process. ‘Waiting points’ at closed nucleon shells play a crucial role in controlling the reaction rates. However, since most of the pathway of heavy-element formation via the rapid-neutron capture process (r-process) runs in ‘terra incognita’ of the nuclear landscape, in particular the waiting point at N=126 is yet unexplored and will remain largely inaccessible to conventional nuclear reaction schemes even at next-generation radioactive beam facilities, underlining the attractive perspectives offered, e.g., by ELI-NP.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Am Coulombwall 1, Garching (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22390974
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1645; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: Carpathian Summer School of Physics 2014, Sinaia (Romania), 13-26 Jul 2014; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; ACCELERATION; CAPTURE; ELECTRONS; FISSION; ION BEAMS; IONS; LASERS; NEUTRON REACTIONS; NEUTRON-RICH ISOTOPES; NEUTRONS; R PROCESS; RADIATION PRESSURE; RANDOM PHASE APPROXIMATION; REACTION KINETICS; THORIUM 232; VISIBLE RADIATION