First 10 PW laser pulses focused on solid targets


On April 13, 2023, the most powerful laser system in the world, at the European Research Infrastructure - Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) in Magurele (RO), has focused for the first time worldwide 10 PW laser pulses on solid targets marking an important milestone in laser plasma physics.

A team of scientists from the Laser-Driven Experiments Department, jointly with the Laser System Department, Thales LAS France, Thales Romania, and collaborators from worldwide institutions achieved this key milestone in science and technology. They established a landmark in the history of laser plasma physics that opens up great opportunities in many research directions both in fundamental physics and in societal applications.

The team has fired 240 J of laser energy in a short pulse of 24 fs duration, that is 10 PW power, onto a thin metal foil of aluminium with the aim of generating ions and X-rays of high energy and brightness.