Ogura et al 2009 18 o rev mod phys vol 85 no 2

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Unformatted text preview: w emittance that can be obtained for laseraccelerated ions makes them suitable for postacceleration, e.g., as an injection source for heavy ion accelerators (Krushelnick et al., 2000). Specific advantages might be the high number of ions produced per shot combined with the short duration. Bychenkov, Sentoku et al. (2001) estimated the threshold for production of pions by protons accelerated in a solid target, obtaining that at intensities above 1021 W cmÀ2 the flux of pions may be much higher than obtained with conventional accelerator techniques. It should be noted that the prompt laser-driven, high field-gradient acceleration of pions is of much interest because of the finite lifetime of such particles; a related discussion was given by Mourou, Tajima, and Bulanov (2006). Pakhomov (2002) proposed the use of laser-accelerated protons at intensities of ’ 1023 W cmÀ2 to drive, via pion generation and decay, pulses of 20 MeV muon neutrinos of interest for, e.g., studies of neutrino oscillations. Bulanov et al. (2005) further explored this concept suggesting the radiation pressure dominated acceleration regime (see Sec. IV.A.2) as suitable for this class of experiments. A more general discussion of the required laser developments was given by Terranova et al. (2006). VI. CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK We reviewed about 12 years of research on ion acceleration driven by superintense laser pulses. The most investigated acceleration mechanism, namely, the so-called target normal sheath acceleration, has been extensively discussed, surveying both the main experimental achievements and the underlying theoretical interpretation. In addition, we provided an outlook to other proposed acceleration schemes, such as radiation pressure acceleration, shock acceleration, breakout afterburner, acceleration in near-critical and underdense plasmas, and resistively enhanced acceleration. For these mechanisms, the fundamental theoretical ideas have been presented, together with the most promising experimental results. A brief presentation of promising possible applications of the laser-generated ion beams has been given. While we were completing our work, another extended review on this topic was published (Daido, Nishiuchi, and Pirozhkov, 2012), which we recommend as complementary reading. This field of research has attracted much interest and has shown unique potential both for innovative investigations and for applicative purposes. The development in laser technology and the increasing use of advanced methods of material science for target manufacturing has resulted in a high level of sophistication of current experiments, with new physical issues continuously emerging from experimental investigations. At the same time, theory and simulation have naturally found a fertile field, which poses original problems and suggests unexplored paths for reaching their solution. The vitality of this research area is well demonstrated by the need for frequent updates during the prep...
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