Application of extreme laser fields

Generation of high-energy, highly collimated bunches of charged particles (electrons, protons, and light ions) and creation of secondary sources of powerful X-ray and gamma radiation during the interaction of superintense laser radiation with matter are the most topical problems of modern science. Traditional accelerators are huge and expensive facilities. At the same time, the accelerating fields produced in them are greatly inferior in magnitude to the accelerating fields generated in the laser-plasma interaction. Present-day high-power laser complexes can lay the basis of a new compact technology of particle acceleration and generation of coherent X-ray and gamma radiation. Such technologies have great promise for use in diverse fields of science and engineering, for example, for diagnostics of condensed matter in laser-driven fusion.

In medicine, high-energy bunches of protons and ions are used for therapy of a variety of cancers. Electron bunches can be used for injection into free-electron lasers in technological applications.

Generation of ultrarelativistic electron bunches Generation of high-energy protons and light ions Secondary X-ray and gamma-ray sources Vacuum instability in a strong laser field