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Photonuclear physics when a multiterawatt laser pulse interacts with solid targets

Ledingham, K.W.D. et al. (2000) Photonuclear physics when a multiterawatt laser pulse interacts with solid targets. Physical Review Letters, 84 (5). pp. 899-902. ISSN 0031-9007

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Publisher's URL: http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v84/i5/p899_1

Abstract

When a laser pulse of intensity 10(19) W cm(-2) interacts with solid targets, electrons of energies of some tens of MeV are produced. In a tantalum target, the electrons generate an intense highly directional gamma-ray beam that can be used to carry out photonuclear reactions. The isotopes C-11, K-38, (CU)-C-62.64, Zn-63, Ag-106, Pr-140, and Ta-180 have been produced by (gamma, n) reactions using the VULCAN laser beam. In addition, laser-induced nuclear fission in U-238 been demonstrated, a process which was theoretically predicted at such laser intensities more than ten years ago. The ratio of the C-11 and the (CU)-C-62 beta(+) activities yields shot-by- shot temperatures of the suprathermal electrons at laser intensities of similar to 10(19) W cm(-2).

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cresswell, Dr Alan and Sanderson, Prof David
Authors: Ledingham, K.W.D., Spencer, I., McCanny, T., Singhal, R.P., Santala, M.I.K., Clark, E., Watts, I., Beg, F.N., Zepf, M., Krushelnick, K., Tatarakis, M., Dangor, A.E., Norreys, P.A., Allott, R., Neely, D., Clark, R.J., Machacek, A.C., Wark, J.S., Cresswell, A.J., Sanderson, D.C.W., and Magill, J.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Physical Review Letters
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
ISSN (Online):1079-7114

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