PerspectivePlasma Physics

Laser-Generated Jets and Megagauss Magnetic Fields

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Science  04 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5382, pp. 1469
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5382.1469

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An intense laser pulse interacting with plasma (a gas of ionized matter) can generate enormous magnetic fields. In his Perspective, Stamper discusses work recently published in Physical Review Letters in which fields in the range of millions of gauss have been observed. The findings are important both for fundamental plasma physics and for evaluating the feasibility of novel laser fusion strategies.