Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Physics News Update 457, American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News, November 15, 1999. Copyright 1999. Permission to use. .


At next week's meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics in Seattle, three groups will independently announce their ability to generate powerful, intense streams of ions by shining ultrashort laser pulses on tiny spots of solid material. Potentially, this approach offers an alternative to bulky, expensive ion accelerators for producing high-velocity ions useful for cancer therapy and electronics manufacturing. Using a single pulse of light from Livermore's Petawatt laser, the most powerful in the world, researchers at that laboratory (Scott Wilks, 925-422-2974, have reported generating 30 trillion protons with energies up to 50 MeV, from a tiny spot approximately 400 microns in size.

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