Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Hemoltz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf of Germany; Technische Universitat Darmstadt of Germany, and General Atomics of San Diego unveiled new findings about how proton beams can be used in myriad applications.
Using the Trident sub-picosecond laser at Los Alamos, the team generated and focused a proton beam using a cone-shaped target. The protons were found to have unexpectedly curved trajectories due to the large electric fields in the beam. A sheath electric field also channeled the proton beam through the cone tip, substantially improving the beam focus.
"These results agree well with our particle simulations and provide the physics basis for many future applications," said Mark Foord, one of the LLNL scientists on the team.
Other Livermore researchers include lead author Teresa Bartal (also a UCSD Ph.D student and Lawrence scholar), Claudio Bellei, Michael Key, Pravesh Patel, Drew Higginson and Harry McLean. The research appears in the Dec. 4 issue of the journal, Nature Physics.
Bartal said the experiments provide a new understanding of the physics involved in proton focusing, which affects how proton beams can be used in the future -- from heating material to creating new types of matter that couldn't be made by any other means, to medical applications and insights into planetary science.
"The ability to generate high-intensity well-focused proton beams can open the door to new regimes in high-energy density science," Bartal said.
One example includes focusing a proton beam on a solid density or compressed material creating millions of atmospheres of pressure, allowing the study of the properties of warm dense matter found in the interior of giant planets such as Jupiter.
The UCSD team was led by Farhat Beg of Jacobs School of Engineering and several of his students participated in this experiment.
"This work has given a new direction to the conventional thinking of proton beam focusing in short-pulse laser matter interaction," Beg said. "Surely it will impact heating of pre-compressed materials to temperatures observed at the core of the sun and any future applications in proton oncology using high-intensity lasers."
Laser-produced proton beams also are making an impact on medical applications such as isotope production for positron emission tomography (PET) and proton oncology.More Information
"Weapons Diagnostic Technology Revolutionizes Cancer Treatment," Science & Technology Review, October/November 2011
"Titan Leads the Way in Laser-Matter," Science Science & Technology Review, January/February 2007
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research