Colloquium on November 30, 2009

Vladimir Tikhonchuk
Université Bordeaux

Physics of laser-assisted ion acceleration

Ions accelerated in the laser plasma interactions have features that are attractive for many applications. Ions under the effect of laser field can gain energies of many MeV at the distance of a few microns and they carry a charge of the order of a few µC with a very low emittance. In this talk we present a review of the processes leading to such an efficient acceleration and illustrate the basic theoretical developments with the results of numerical simulations and experiments. We discuss two major mechanisms of ion acceleration related to the energetic electrons and the laser ponderomotive force and provide several examples of applications of laser accelerated ions in fundamental research, inertial fusion studies and medicine.