"Exploring particle acceleration in laser-driven collisionless shocks: from cosmic rays to radiotherapy," by 

Frederico Fiuza (LLNL)

Date: 
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
Series: 
Plasma Seminars

Plasma Seminar

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
11:30 AM
Physics and Astronomy Building (PAB) Room 4-330

Guest Speaker: Frederico Fiuza (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Talk Title: "Exploring particle acceleration in laser-driven collisionless shocks: from cosmic rays to radiotherapy"


Abstract:

Collisionless shocks are pervasive in astrophysical plasmas and are known to be efficient particle accelerators; however, the microphysics underlying shock formation and particle acceleration is not yet fully understood. The fast progress in laser technology is bringing the study of high-velocity collisionless shocks into the realm of laboratory plasmas. Large-scale particle-in-cell simulations allow the exploration of the detailed kinetic physics associated with laser-driven shocks from first principles and to identify the optimal laboratory conditions to study particle acceleration. I will show that by controlling the laser and plasma parameters it is possible to control the electrostatic/electromagnetic nature of the shocks and the acceleration mechanisms, from Fermi-like processes, which are relevant in astrophysics, to the generation of high-quality ion beams for radiotherapy. These results open new platforms for the in situ study of the fundamental physics of collisionless shocks and to explore compact particle acceleration schemes for different applications.