Laser-driven neutrons for time-of-flight experiments?
1 Universidad de Sevilla (US), Sevilla, Spain
2 Centro Nacional de Aceleradores (CNA, Universidad de Sevilla-Junta de Andalucía- CSIC), Sevilla, Spain
3 Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC-CSIC), Valencia, Spain
4 Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (UPC-INTE), Barcelona, Spain
5 Instituto Galego de Física de Altas Enerxías, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (IGFAE-USC), Santiago de Compostela, Spain
6 Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), Madrid, Spain
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Published online: 30 September 2020
Neutron beams, both pulsed and continuous, are a powerful tool in a wide variety of research fields and applications. Nowadays, pulsed neutron beams are produced in conventional accelerator facilities in which the time-of-fight technique is used to determine the kinetic energy of the neutrons inducing the reactions of interest.
In the last decades, the development of ultra-short (femtosecond) and ultra-high power (> 1018 W/cm2) lasers has opened the door to a vast number of new applications, including the production and acceleration of pulsed ion beams. These have been recently used to produce pulsed neutron beams, reaching fluxes per pulse similar and even higher than those of conventional neutron beams, hence becoming an alternative for the pulsed neutron beam users community. Nevertheless, these laser-driven neutrons have not been exploited in nuclear physics experiments so far.
Our main goal is to produce and characterize laser-driven neutrons but optimizing the analysis, diagnostic and detection techniques currently used in conventional neutron sources to implement them in this new environment. As a result, we would lay down the viability of carrying out nuclear physics experiments using this kind of sources by identifying the advantages and limitations of this production method.
To achieve this purpose, we plan to perform experiments in both medium (50TW@L2A2, in Santiago de Com-postela) and high (1PW@APOLLON, in Paris) power laser facilities.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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