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The second and final year of the Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme, where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in-class’ time is limited to 4 weeks a year, and the programme spans 2 years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion. Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just finished its second and final year. Six Learning Teaching Training activities have been held at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University, the University of Salamanca and the Institute of Plasma Physics and Lasers of the Hellenic Mediterranean University. The last of these institutes hosted two 2-week-long Intensive Programmes, while the activities at the other four universities were each 5 days in length. In addition, a ‘Multiplier Event’ was held at the University of Ioannina, which will be briefly described. In this second year, the work has concentrated on training in both experimental diagnostics and simulation techniques appropriate to the study of plasma physics, high power laser matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail, and some metrics relating to the activities carried out will be presented. In particular, this paper will focus on the overall assessment of the programme.
The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.
Laser pulses are largely used for processing and analysis of materials and in particular for nano-particle synthesis. This paper addresses fundamentals of the generation of nano-materials following specific thermodynamic paths of the irradiated material. Computer simulations using the hydro code MULTI and the SESAME equation of state have been performed to follow the dynamics of a target initially heated by a short laser pulse over a distance comparable to the metal skin depth.
We studied the behavior of porous carbon compressed by laser-generated shock waves. In particular, we developed a new design for targets, optimized for the investigation of carbon reflectivity at hundred-GPa pressures and eV/k temperatures. Specially designed “two-layer-two materials” targets, comprising porous carbon on transparent substrates, allowed the probing of carbon reflectivity and a quite accurate determination of the position in the P, T plane. This was achieved by the simultaneous measurement of shock breakout times, sample temperature (by optical pyrometry) and uid velocity. The experiments proved the new scheme is reliable and appropriate for reflectivity measurements of thermodynamical states lying out of the standard graphite or diamond hugoniot. An increase of reflectivity in carbon has been observed at 260 GPa and 14,000 K while no increase in reflectivity is found at 200 GPa and 20,000 K. We also discuss the role of numerical simulations in the optimization of target parameters and in clarifying shock dynamics.
The paper is devoted to the study of plasma effects, which are present in laser ablation at relatively high intensity (I ≥ 1012 W/cm2). We start from the classical “two temperature model” of laser ablation (“cold solid approximation”) and we extend it to higher intensities where laser-induced heating and laser-induced changes in the background material become relevant. The new model is also compared to experimental results on laser ablation of solid targets from short pulse lasers at high intensities (up to 1014 W/cm2). Finally, we consider the effects on laser-ablation of laser-generated fast electrons.
We propose the use of Focused Ion Beam/Scanning Electron
Microscope (FIB/SEM) devices for the analysis of ablation results.
Ablated samples have been obtained by irradiating an Al planar target with
an optically smoothed iodine laser working at 0.44 μm. The
interpretation of FIB images shows the high potentiality of the
The International Conference on “Ultrashort High-Energy
Radiation and Matter” has been held in Villa Monastero, Varenna,
Italy, during October 7–10, 2003. The conference has been jointly
organized by the “Piero Caldirola” International Centre for
the Promotion of Science and International School of Plasma Physics,
Milan, Italy, and by the FEMTO Programme of the European Science
Foundation (chaired by Prof. Charles Joachain of the University of
An ensemble of new techniques has been developed to study cell
metabolism. These include: CO2 production monitoring, cell
irradiation with soft X rays produced with a laser-plasma source, and
study of oscillations in cell metabolic activity via spectral analysis
of experimental records. Soft X-rays at about 0.9 keV, with a very low
penetration in biological material, were chosen to produce damages at
the metabolic level, without great interference with DNA activity. The
use of a laser-plasma source allowed a fast deposition of high doses.
Monitoring of CO2 production allowed us to measure cell
metabolic response immediately after irradiation in a continuous and
noninvasive way. Also a simple model was developed to calculate X-ray
doses delivered to the different cell compartments following a
Lambert–Bouguet–Beer law. Results obtained on
Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells in experiments performed
at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are presented.
We present some experimental results on X-ray spectra obtained from
plasmas produced using a compact Nd:YAG laser system. The beam was
focused on different targets (Cu, Al, Ge,…) and both high
resolution and low resolution X-ray spectra were recorded.
The paper reviews and analyses the experiments devoted to the
propagation in dense matter of fast electrons produced in the
interaction of short-pulse ultra-high-intensity laser pulses
with solid density targets.
The paper discusses recent advances in the use of foams in
laser–plasma experiments, concerning in particular: (1)
the use of foam in order to get an efficient smoothing of laser
energy deposition, (2) the problem of hydrodynamics of layered
foam-payload targets, (3) the use of foam for shock pressure
amplification in equation-of-state experiments, (4) the study
of the equation of state of foams in the Megabar regime, and
(5) the use of foams for astrophysics relevant experiments,
here in particular shock acceleration experiments.
This paper deals with the realization of a CA model of the
physical interactions occurring when high-power laser pulses
are focused on plasma targets. The low-level and microscopic
physical laws of interactions among the plasma and the photons
in the pulse are described. In particular, electron–electron
interaction via the Coulomb force and photon–electron
interaction due to ponderomotive forces are considered. Moreover,
the dependence on time and space of the index of refraction
is taken into account, as a consequence of electron motion in
the plasma. Ions are considered as a fixed background. Simulations
of these interactions are provided in different conditions and
the macroscopic dynamics of the system, in agreement with the
experimental behavior, are evidenced.
A microwave coherent backscattering experiment has been
carried out on
Mirabelle, a weakly ionized plasma device, with the objective of
electron-density fluctuation level. The experiment is a preliminary
step in order
to prepare the detection system for a microwave stimulated-backscattering
experiment. The incident electromagnetic wave is focused in
front of a plane
grid, which excites ion acoustic or electron Bernstein waves and induces
fluctuations in the plasma. The backscattering signal is collected by the
launching circuit and detected by homodyne mixing. The typical ratio of the
scattered power to the incident power is about 10−12
and the relative density fluctuations is of the order of
≈10−3 against a background electron density
cm−3. The backscattering measurement is also compared
with Langmuir-probe measurements, and gives good agreement with the
relative density fluctuations. The spectral width of the
backscattered signal has
also been studied, by taking into account effects due to the incident-wave
focusing and plasma-wave damping.
Experimental results on the determination of the color temperature in shock waves produced with lasers are presented. The method is based on imaging the target rear side in two different spectral windows and on using phased zone plates to produce high-quality shocks. The shock velocity is also measured, allowing, with the use of the equation of state, the real shock temperature to be deduced and compared with the measured color temperature.
Experimental results are presented on shock-wave generation in solid samples, irradiated directly by optically smoothed laser beams. Random phase plates and phased zone plates have been successfully used. In particular, the last technique allowed the production of uniform shock fronts that have been used for equation of state experiments at pressures above 10 Mbar. Pressures higher than 35 Mbar were achieved in gold, by using laser pulses with energy E ≈ 100 J, and structured, two-step, two-material targets.
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