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.

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


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:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sanderson, Professor David and Cresswell, Dr Alan
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 (Online):1079-7114

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record