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Optica Publishing Group
  • Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Pacific Rim 2009
  • (Optica Publishing Group, 2009),
  • paper PL_1

EXTREME LIGHT PHYSICS (ELI)

Open Access Open Access

Abstract

ELI will be the first infrastructure dedicated to the fundamental study of laser-matter interaction in a new and unsurpassed regime of laser intensity: the ultra-relativistic regime (IL >1023 W/cm2). At its centre will be an exawatt-class laser ~1000 times more powerful than either the Laser Mégajoule in France or the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the US. In contrast to these projects, ELI will attain its extreme power from the shortness of its pulses (femtosecond and attosecond). The infrastructure will serve to investigate a new generation of compact accelerators delivering energetic particle and radiation beams of femtosecond (10−15 s) to attosecond (10−18 s) duration. Relativistic compression offers the potential of intensities exceedingIL >1025 W/cm2, which will challenge the vacuum critical field as well as provide a new avenue to ultrafast attosecond to zeptosecond (10−21 s) studies of laser-matter interaction. ELI will afford wide benefits to society ranging from improvement of oncology treatment, medical imaging, fast electronics and our understanding of aging nuclear reactor materials to development of new methods of nuclear waste processing.

© 2009 IEEE

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