Exploring Laser-Produced Relativistic Pair Plasma Jets

Hui Chen | 17-ERD-010

Project Overview

In recent years, laser pair research has identified key characteristics of relativistic pairs—features that enable the study of astrophysical models for observations, including gamma ray bursts, black holes, and blazars. This type of study is further supported by accumulated laser pair research data and the availability of large, short-pulse lasers, such as the Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF). For our project, we proposed and were awarded three experimental days on NIF. To achieve the intensity needed to accelerate electrons to a significant fraction of the speed of light, we experimented with a built-on-target parabolic cone with the goal of enhancing laser intensity to the level needed for pair creation. Due to the success of our experiments, nearly all ARC experiments have adopted this target design. In addition, we obtained novel experimental data on pair jet-plasma and jet-jet interactions from Laboratory basic science experiments on the Omega EP lasers and on the Gekko LFEX lasers. Our results have set the stage for future pair-plasma interaction experiments.

Mission Impact

This project builds on Livermore's core competency in high-energy-density science, specifically to the Laboratory's unique laser and diagnostic capabilities to produce and understand unique plasmas. This research supports NNSA's mission to manage the nuclear stockpile and DOE's goal to translate basic science research into technical innovations.

Publications, Presentations, and Patents

Chen, H., et al. 2017a. "High-energy (>70 keV) x-ray conversion efficiency measurement on the ARC laser at the National Ignition Facility." Physics of Plasmas, 24, 033112. LLNL-JRNL-706562

——— 2017b. "On Krypton-Doped Capsule Implosion Experiments At The National Ignition Facility." Physics of Plasmas, 24, 072715. LLNL-JRNL-724281

Daykin, T., et al. 2018. "Characterization of fast electron divergence and energy spectrum from modeling of angularly resolved bremsstrahlung measurements." Physics of Plasmas, 25, 123103. LLNL-JRNL-792342

Jarrott, L., et al. 2017. "Transport and spatial energy deposition of relativistic electrons in copper-doped fast ignition plasmas," Physics of Plasmas 24, 102710. LLNL-JRNL-736430

——— 2017b. "Visualizing fast electron energy transport into laser-compressed high-density fast-ignition targets." Nature Physics, 12, 499. LLNL-JRNL-736041

Lemos, N., et al. 2018."Bremsstrahlung hard x-ray source driven by an electron beam from a self-modulated laser wakefield accelerator. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 60, 5. LLNL-JRNL-742935

MacPhee, A., et al. 2020. "Enhanced laser-plasma interactions using non-imaging optical concentrator targets." Optica, 7, 129-130. LLNL-JRNL-786638

Manuel, M., et al. 2019. "Magnetized Disruption of Inertially Confined Plasma Flows." Phys. Rev. Lett.,122, 225001. LLNL-JRNL-789266

Mariscal, D., et al. 2019. "First demonstration of ARC-accelerated proton beams at the National Ignition Facility." Physics of Plasmas, 26, 043110. LLNL-CONF-763580

Nagel, S., et al. 2017. “First two-dimensional time-resolved ultra-high speed imaging of K-alpha emission from short-pulse-laser interactions to observe electron recirculation." Applied Phys. Lett. 110, 144102. LLNL-JRNL-717398

Peebles, J., et al. 2017. “Investigation of laser pulse length and pre-plasma scale length impact on hot electron generation on OMEGA-EP." New Journal of Physics, 19, 023008. LLNL-JRNL-742214

——— 2018. "High-angle deflection of the energetic electrons by a voluminous magnetic structure in near-normal intense laser-plasma interactions." Phys. Rev. E., 98, 053202. LLNL-JRNL-792341

Raymond, A., et al. 2018. "Relativistic-electron-driven magnetic reconnection in the laboratory." Phys. Rev. E., 98, 043207. LLNL-JRNL-760956

Sawada, H., et al. 2017. "Two-color monochromatic x-ray imaging with a single short-pulse laser." Rev. Sci. Instrum. 88, 063502, LLNL-JRNL-718761

——— 2019a. "Development of broadband x-ray radiography for diagnosing magnetically driven cylindrically compressed matter." Physics of Plasmas, 26, 083104. LLNL-JRNL-792340

——— 2019b. "Monochromatic 2D K α Emission Images Revealing Short-Pulse Laser Isochoric Heating Mechanism." Phys. Rev. Lett.,122, 155002. LLNL-JRNL-787896

Williams, G., et al. 2017. "Positron radiography of ignition-relevant ICF capsules." Physics of Plasmas, 24, 122704. LLNL-JRNL-742179

——— 2018. "High-Energy Differential-Filtering Photon Spectrometer for Ultraintense Laser-Matter Interactions." Rev. Sci. Instrum. LLNL-JRNL-750844

——— 2020a. “Table-Top Laser-Based Source of Femtosecond, Collimated, Ultrarelativistic Positron Beams.” Phys. Rev. Lett, 124, 179501. LLNL-JRNL-759021

——— 2020b. “Production of relativistic electrons at subrelativistic laser intensities.” Phys. Rev. E.101, 031201. LLNL-JRNL-769934