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Laser ‘Drill’ Sets a New Record in Laser-Driven Electron Acceleration

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BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 27, 2019 — Using a laser pulse to heat up and “drill” through a plasma, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have nearly doubled the previous record for laser-driven particle acceleration. The new record of propelling electrons to 7.8 electron volts (7.8 GeV) surpasses the 4.25-GeV result achieved in 2014. The team at Berkeley Lab shot intense, short IR laser pulses, each with a peak power of about 850 terawatts — the equivalent to lighting up about 8.5 trillion 100-watt light bulbs simultaneously — lasting just 35 femtoseconds, into a 0.8 millimeter-wide,...Read full article

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