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New scientific and technological progress: protons in short pulse

04 May 2021

The Spanish Center for Pulsed Lasers –CLPU– has designed a new tool to select quasi-monoenergetic protons from a laser-produced proton source, keeping a pulse of a very short time duration (the optimal case calculated has been of 260 picoseconds).

Although there are already proton selection systems, this design achieves a very compact geometry not reached before. In this way the proton path through the setup is reduced, keeping short time dispersion. It is important because this allows to study specific moments of dynamic phenomena who evolves quickly, like plasmas do. As a photographer should reduce the opening time of the camera obturator if he wants to take a clear photo of something in movement, the CLPU has reached to reduce the time dispersion of protons, allowing the “light” that takes the snapshort to be short enough in time to resolve the process in time.

This new technique has important scientific implications and future applications. It is a useful tool to study how these particles stop when they interact with plasma or with Warm Dense Matter. At the same time, these tools are important for nuclear fusion research.

This work has been published in open access in Scientific Reports, and its titled: A quasi-monoenergetic short time duration compact proton source for probing high energy density states of matter.

Source: Sci Rep 11, 6881 (2021)