Ion acceleration with radiation pressure in quantum electrodynamic regimes

Del Sorbo, Dario and Blackman, David R. and Capdessus, Remi and Small, Kristina and Slade-Lowther, Cody and Luo, Wen and Duff, Matthew J. and Robinson, Alexander P. L. and McKenna, Paul and Sheng, Zheng-Ming and Pasley, John and Ridgers, Christopher (2017) Ion acceleration with radiation pressure in quantum electrodynamic regimes. In: Proc. SPIE 10241, Research Using Extreme Light: Entering New Frontiers with Petawatt-Class Lasers III. SPIE, Bellingham, Washington.

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Abstract

The radiation pressure of next generation high-intensity lasers could efficiently accelerate ions to GeV energies. However, nonlinear quantum-electrodynamic effects play an important role in the interaction of these lasers with matter. We show that these quantum-electrodynamic effects lead to the production of a critical density pair-plasma which completely absorbs the laser pulse and consequently reduces the accelerated ion energy and efficiency by 30-50%.