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A pulsed fast neutron source is critical for applications of fast neutron resonance radiography and fast neutron absorption spectroscopy. However, due to the large transversal source size (of the order of mm) and long pulse duration (of the order of ns) of traditional pulsed fast neutron sources, it is difficult to realize high-contrast neutron imaging with high spatial resolution and a fine absorption spectrum. Here, we experimentally present a micro-size ultra-short pulsed neutron source by a table-top laser–plasma wakefield electron accelerator driving a photofission reaction in a thin metal converter. A fast neutron source with source size of approximately 500 μm and duration of approximately 36 ps has been driven by a tens of MeV, collimated, micro-size electron beam via a hundred TW laser facility. This micro-size ultra-short pulsed neutron source has the potential to improve the energy resolution of a fast neutron absorption spectrum dozens of times to, for example, approximately 100 eV at 1.65 MeV, which could be of benefit for high-quality fast neutron imaging and deep understanding of the theoretical model of neutron physics.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
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