Making pions with laser light

Year: 2018

Authors: Schumaker W., Liang T., Clarke R., Cole JM., Grittani G., Kuschel S., Mangles SPD., Najmudin Z., Poder K., Sarri G., Symes D., Thomas AGR., Vargas M., Zepf M., Krushelnick K.

Autors Affiliation: Stanford Univ, SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab, Menlo Pk, CA 94025 USA; Univ Michigan, Ctr Ultrafast Opt Sci, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA;‎ Rutherford Appleton Lab, Cent Laser Facil, Didcot OX11 0QX, Oxon, England; Imperial Coll London, John Adams Inst Accelerator Sci, Blackett Lab, London SW7 2BZ, England; CNR, Ist Nazl Ott, I-56124 Pisa, Italy;‎ Helmholtz Inst Jena, Frobelstieg 3, D-07743 Jena, Germany; Queens Univ Belfast, Sch Math & Phys, Belfast BT7 1NN, Antrim, North Ireland

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 (Mg-27) which is a signature for pion (pi(+)) production and subsequent muon decay. Using a 300 TW laser pulse, we have measured the generation of 150 ± 50 pions per shot. We also show that the energetic electron beam is a source of an intense, highly directional neutron beam resulting from (gamma, n) reactions which contributes to the Mg-27 measurement as background via the (n, p) process.


Volume: 20      Pages from: 073008-1  to: 073008-6

KeyWords: lasers; accelerators; plasmas; particle sources
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aace0c

Citations: 4
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