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Project List » Investigation of laser-driven gamma burst

Investigation of laser-driven gamma burst

Acronym: INSIGT
Contracting Authority: Institutul de Fizica Atomica (IFA)
Number / Date of the contract: ELI-10 / 2020-10-01
PN-III-P5/Subprogramul 5.1
Project Manager: Dr. Domenico Doria
Partners: University of Bucharest
Starting date / finishing date: 2020-10-01 / 2023-09-30
Project value: 1000000 RON
Abstract: A high-power laser can allow generating an intense burst of gamma rays from electrons accelerated to a very high Lorentz factor. At the highest laser intensity of up to 1023 W/cm2, which will be available at ELI-NP, a new regime in laser-plasma interaction has been foreseen, where the QED processes start playing an evident role. Such strong interaction, via collective and non-linear effects, will inevitably affect the laser-driven ion acceleration processes, appreciably altering their scaling laws, and then the energy partition among different particle species. This is one of the core topics of the research foreseen at the ELI-NP and as such it is described in the ELI WhiteBook and in particular in the TDR I.C.E. Turcu et al., RRP, 68, 2016 at S145-S190. Despite there are several papers on the subject, and hence, the theory related to such phenomenon has been largely discussed by many authors, either in the semi-classical or quantum regime, almost no experiments have been performed to validate the predictions. As outcome of the theoretical investigation, the laser characteristics (e.g., intensity, power) and the target characteristics (e.g., plasma electron density, thickness) play the most important role in the occurrence of such phenomenon. For instance, in T. Nakamura et al., PRL 2012, is predicted that for a given laser power PL there is an optimum plasma density that maximizes the non-linear Thomson scattering cross-section, i.e. the gamma-rays emission. Therefore, a proper investigation must necessarily consider the development and characterization of the targetry. The aim of this project is a systematic study of the energy partition among the different particles generated during the laser-plasma interaction, i.e., photon, electron and ions, by using targets of adequate characteristics. To create targets of different plasma density and in a controlled manner, a secondary laser pulse, timed with the main interacting laser pulse, will be employed. In such a way, a plasma-target with a custom thickness, ion species and electron density can be created on-demand for a methodical study. To accomplish the project objectives, a number of activities will be performed. In particular, we will firstly focus on the setup design, diagnostics development and testing, by accurately designing gamma-ray and charged particle spectrometers of adequate features to better characterize the range of energy expected during the experiments. Also, attention will be dedicated to shielding design and to background noise reduction, in correlation to the setup configuration. In other activities, experiments with the 1 PW and the 10 PW laser beams of ELI-NP will be carried out. All those activities will be supported by Particle-in-cell, hydrodynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, guiding the experiments and interpreting the results. The project will contribute to the experimental evidence of the theoretical predictions, and also to the establishment of a setup tailored to the requirements for the study of the role of the radiation reaction, in the semi-classical and QED regimes, in the laser-driven acceleration and secondary sources generation. Therefore, it will also be beneficial for future ELI-NP users and will pave the way to the use of bright gamma-ray burst for application and fundamental research.

  • Experimental study of gamma ray emission from Thomson scattering process and the scaling law of laser-to-gamma energy conversion for laser-matter interaction at extreme intensity (up to few 1022 W/cm2) and in different matter conditions. Also, the energy partition among different the particle's species generated during the interaction will be investigated.
  • Numerical investigations of laser-plasma interaction in conditions of relevance for the ELI-NP Laser system by employing PIC and hydrodynamic codes. The simulations will focus on the study of gamma ray emission and scaling of the energy conversion efficiency (Laser-to-Gamma) in different experimental conditions.
  • Development of a stack detector for gamma ray burst diagnosis, with capability of flux and energy spectral reconstruction. The stack will consist of scintillators, and the reconstruction of the spectrum will be done by an opposite algorithm also developed during the project.
  • Development of an on-line Thomson parabola for high-energy ion detection (above 250 MeV/n).



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