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Laser-driven particle acceleration

This is the center of our research activities. The research is divided into two projects: electron and proton acceleration. The accelerating gradients in both cases are many orders of magnitude larger than those obtained with conventional accelerators.

Electron acceleration

The laser is focused on a pulsed helium gas jet. A relativistic channel is formed and some of the electrons in the plasma are accelerated to high energies.

Proton acceleration

The laser is focused on a thin film of solid material (for example plastic or aluminium). Protons on the back side of the target are ripped off by fast electrons and accelerated to high energies.

X-ray  production

X-ray production is also a part our research. From laser-accelerated electrons wiggling in the radial field of the same plasma channel as where they are accelerated. This gives rise to very short and intense X-ray pulses, in a narrow cone in  the electron beam direction. This type of X-rays are frequently called betatron radiation.

Earlier X-ray research in the group was more focused on laser-produced X-rays from laser irradiated solid targets.