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Researchers Probe ’Light Bullets’

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2001
A team at the University of Technology Chemnitz in Chemnitz, Germany, has presented the results of its observations of light bullets, blocks of plasma generated by the interaction of laser pulses and matter. The findings, which appeared in the Jan. 8 issue of Physical Review Letters, may enable astronomers to better understand similar phenomena produced by young stars.

The researchers irradiated aluminum targets with 100-ps, 60-mJ pulses from an Nd:YAG laser. The resulting plasma blocks moved toward the laser beam at up to 4.5 x 108 cm/s and generated magnetic fields of up to 7 MG.

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