Laser Acceleration Hits the Spot

Science  21 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5772, pp. 333b
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5772.333b

One application of ultra-intense laser pulses is particle acceleration, but protons and ions accelerated from surfaces tend to have a large spread in energy and spatial extent. Toncian et al. (p. 410, published online 16 February; see the Perspective by Dunne) placed a hollow cylinder in the path of the accelerated protons and hit the cylinder with a well-timed, high-intensity laser pulse. The transit time of the protons is energy dependent, so varying the timing between the ion or proton generation pulse and the cylinder pulse allowed for energy selection and collimation of the protons exiting the cylinder.

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