"Development of the PETAL laser facility and its applications in physics (notice the change of place!)"
Who: Dimitri Batani (Université de Bordeaux, CELIA UMR5107, Talence, France)
Place: Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC). Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal, 4, Donostia
Date: Thursday, 26 February 2015, 12:00
Development of the PETAL laser facility and its
applications in physics
A new era of plasma science started with experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the US, which will be soon followed by the Laser Mégajoule (LMJ) in France.
Such facilities, whose main objective is to reach nuclear ignition by imploding deuterium-tritium targets using high-energy laser beams, will provide a unique tool not only for ICF physics but also for basic science fields such as high energy density physics (HEDP), laboratory astrophysics, planetary science, nuclear and particle physics.
A petawatt short pulse laser will be added to the ns pulse beams of LMJ. This is the PETAL system (PETawatt Aquitaine Laser), under construction on the LMJ site near Bordeaux (France), with the ultimate goal of reaching 7 PW (3.5 kJ with 0.5 ps pulses). The LMJ/PETAL facility will be open to European Research groups for academic access starting in 2017. In this phase, PETAL will provide 1 kJ in 0.5 ps and will be coupled to the first two LMJ Quads.
PETAL is aiming at providing secondary sources of particles and radiation to diagnose high energy density plasmas generated by the LMJ beams. An additional project, Petal+, has been funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) and managed by the University of Bordeaux and it is addressed to design and provide diagnostics dedicated to experiments with the PETAL laser beam.
Within this project, three types of diagnostics are planned: proton spectrometry, electron spectrometry and X-ray spectrometry. The goal of these diagnostics will be to assess the characteristics of the secondary sources produced with PETAL, as well as the performance of PETAL itself. Further diagnostics will be installed in the future on the LMJ/PETAL facility to allow HEDP experiments.
During the presentation, the status of the PETAL and Petal+ projects will be presented in detail, as well as the main lines of the scientific program to be investigated on the LMJ/PETAL facility. I will also describe the other activities in lasers and plasmas going on at CELIA and at the University of Bordeaux in general.
(host G. Benedek)