High power lasers are capable of producing high energy charged particles, γ-rays, and neutrons, with peak fluxes
orders of magnitude higher than currently achievable with conventional RF accelerator technology.
In the E1 experimental area of ELI-NP, these short-duration high fluxes of nuclear particles will be used to
study nuclear physics phenomena that are predicted to emerge in plasma conditions, such as:
The production of exotic heavy neutron-rich nuclei produced by the onset of sequential reactions in plasma (fission-fuson)
The change of the nuclear stopping power for high intensity, dense bunches of charged particles in which the ion de-acceleration will be dominated by collective phenomena
The change in nuclear cross sections in high power laser induced hot and dense plasma conditions which simulate astrophysical conditions
Nuclear excitations and de-excitations in plasma conditions leading to changes in the efffective lifetimes of isotopes and potentially other observables
The extremely high laser intensities achievable at ELI-NP will create ultrahigh electric and magnetic
fields in the focus and thus allow to explore QED in new regimes. Foreseen projects in the
short- and long-term are dedicated to:
The study of quantum radiation reaction created by plasma electrons accelerated to GeV energies.
The production of electron-positron pairs in huge abundance and highly energetic gamma-rays emerging from the laser pulse interaction with electrons
High energy gamma-catalyzed production of electron-positron pairs within the laser focus in pure vacuum (long-term aim)
The experimental area E5 is mainly dedicated to material and biological sciences
in extreme radiation environments with the main goal of developing industrial, medical
and societal applications. The foreseen studies are relevant for the understanding of:
The degradation of materials used in building the next generation of particle accelerators and fusion or fission reactors
The interaction of biological systems with a multi-component ion and photon radiation pattern spanning over a wide range of energies which will be of relevance for improving biologic radioprotection in space missions, and potentially for radiotherapy of cancers.
X-rays and gamma-rays will play a central role in the ELI-NP science, operation and societal applications.
Intense and spatially coherent X and gamma-ray secondary sources will be produced in the PW laser
interaction with matter. The purpose of the X-ray laboratory is to develop new diagnostic instruments
and methods utilizing this radiation, and towards opening new fundamental and applied research directions.
The main R&D direction of this unit are: development of X and gamma ray diagnostics for laser-target
interaction, biomedical X-ray imaging applications, fundamental science and experiments for X and gamma ray optics.
The main challenge scientists are facing in the measurement of laser induced nuclear
phenomena is that the time-scale of the physical events which unfold is too fast to
be adequatlely measured with modern day electronics, which has its limits in the
picosecond range. As such, to allow an insight into the ultra-short lived particle
and radiation bursts, one needs to develop an entirely new type of active detectors
that allow a measurement of the related particle and gamma-ray flashes produced by
laser-driven interactions. The Instrumentation Laboratory is meant to allow the
development of such state-of-the-art detectors. The detector list contains, among
others, a newly designed Thomson Parabola to measure proton energies of more that
200 MeV, and a gamma and electron spectrometer for the 5-100 MeV range. A gamma
spectrometer dedicated for low energetic gamma radiation of less than 20 MeV is
foreseen to be built as well. Besides that, the laboratory will develop and optimize
activation stacks diagnostics, standard tools in modern-day high power laser research.