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!
Two dimensional circuit with magnetic quasi-particles
22.01.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences