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With the advent of high power lasers, new opportunities have opened up for simulating astrophysical processes in the laboratory. We show that second-order Fermi acceleration can be directly investigated at the National Ignition Facility, Livermore. This requires measuring the momentum-space diffusion of 3 MeV protons produced within a turbulent plasma generated by a laser. Treating Fermi acceleration as a biased diffusion process, we show analytically that a measurable broadening of the initial proton distribution is then expected for particles exiting the plasma.
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