Exotic dense-matter states pumped by a relativistic laser plasma in the radiation-dominated regime

J. Colgan, J. Abdallah, A. Ya. Faenov, S. A. Pikuz, E. Wagenaars, N. Booth, O. Culfa, R. J. Dance, R. G. Evans, R. J. Gray, T. Kaempfer, K. L. Lancaster, P. McKenna, A. L. Rossall, I. Yu. Skobelev, K. S. Schulze, I. Uschmann, A. G. Zhidkov, N. C. Woolsey

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In high-spectral resolution experiments with the petawatt Vulcan laser, strong x-ray radiation of KK hollow atoms (atoms without n = 1 electrons) from thin Al foils was observed at pulse intensities of 3 x 10(20) W/cm(2). The observations of spectra from these exotic states of matter are supported by detailed kinetics calculations, and are consistent with a picture in which an intense polychromatic x-ray field, formed from Thomson scattering and bremsstrahlung in the electrostatic fields at the target surface, drives the KK hollow atom production. We estimate that this x-ray field has an intensity of >5 x 10(18) W/cm(2) and is in the 3 keV range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125001
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2013


  • petawatt Vulcan laser
  • laser plasma
  • atom production
  • high-spectral resolution

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