Laser driven nuclear physics at ELI–NP

Negoita, F. and Roth, M. and Thirolf, P. G. and Tudisco, S. and Hannachi, F. and Moustaizis, S. and Pomerantz, I. and McKenna, P. and Fuchs, J. and Sphor, K. and Acbas, G. and Anzalone, A. and Audebert, P. and Balascuta, S. and Cappuzzello, F. and Cernaianu, M. O. and Chen, S. and Dancus, I. and Freeman, R. and Geissel, H. and Genuche, P. and Gizzi, L. A. and Gobet, F. and Gosselin, G. and Gugiu, M. and Higginson, D. P. and D’humières, E. and Ivan, C. and Jaroszynski, D. and Kar, S. and Lamia, L. and Leca, V. and Neagu, L. and Lanzalone, G. and Méot, V. and Mirfayzi, S. R. and Mitu, I. O. and Morel, P. and Murphy, C. and Petcu, C. and Petrascu, H. and Petrone, C. and Raczka, P. and Risca, M. and Rotaru, F. and Santos, J. J. and Schumacher, D. and Stutman, D. and Tarisien, M. and Tataru, M. and Tatulea, B. and Turcu, Ion Cristian Edmond and Versteegen, M. and Ursescu, D. and Gales, S. and Zamfir, N. V. (2016) Laser driven nuclear physics at ELI–NP. Romanian Reports in Physics, 68 (Supple). S37-S144. ISSN 1841-8759

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High power lasers have proven being capable to produce high energy γ-rays, charged particles and neutrons, and to induce all kinds of nuclear reactions. At ELI, the studies with high power lasers will enter for the first time into new domains of power and intensities: 10 PW and 1023 W/cm2. While the development of laser based radiation sources is the main focus at the ELI-Beamlines pillar of ELI, at ELI-NP the studies that will benefit from High Power Laser System pulses will focus on Laser Driven Nuclear Physics (this TDR, acronym LDNP, associated to the E1 experimental area), High Field Physics and QED (associated to the E6 area) and fundamental research opened by the unique combination of the two 10 PW laser pulses with a gamma beam provided by the Gamma Beam System (associated to E7 area). The scientific case of the LDNP TDR encompasses studies of laser induced nuclear reactions, aiming for a better understanding of nuclear properties, of nuclear reaction rates in laser-plasmas, as well as on the development of radiation source characterization methods based on nuclear techniques. As an example of proposed studies: the promise of achieving solid-state density bunches of (very) heavy ions accelerated to about 10 MeV/nucleon through the RPA mechanism will be exploited to produce highly astrophysical relevant neutron rich nuclei around the N~126 waiting point, using the sequential fission-fusion scheme, complementary to any other existing or planned method of producing radioactive nuclei. The studies will be implemented predominantly in the E1 area of ELI-NP. However, many of them can be, in a first stage, performed in the E5 and/or E4 areas, where higher repetition laser pulses are available, while the harsh X-ray and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) environments are less damaging compared to E1. A number of options are discussed through the document, having an important impact on the budget and needed resources. Depending on the TDR review and subsequent project decisions, they may be taken into account for space reservation, while their detailed design and implementation will be postponed. The present TDR is the result of contributions from several institutions engaged in nuclear physics and high power laser research. A significant part of the proposed equipment can be designed, and afterwards can be built, only in close collaboration with (or subcontracting to) some of these institutions. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is currently under preparation with each of these key partners as well as with others that are interested to participate in the design or in the future experimental program.