A major impetus to the field of laser plasma interaction was provided by the proposals of initiating fusion reactions for viable energy production using extremely powerful laser beams. This quest still continues in the form of inertial confinement based fusion techniques, and more recently with the fast ignition scheme. In a broad perspective my research work can be described as a detailed experimental study of interconnected issues relating to the production and transport of fast particles thus generated.
The acceleration of high energy ion beams (up to several tens of mega electron-volts per nucleon) following the interaction of ultra-short and intense laser pulses with solid targets has been one of the most active areas of research in the last few years. These high brightness, collimated, laminar beams with high energy cutoff are useful for the development of compact ion accelerators with possible medical applications.This will advance our understanding of ultrahigh intensity laser interaction with cancerous cells and may lead to new applications of laser-plasma-based particle and radiation sources for therauptic applications.
The ability to explore the extreme conditions of planetary interiors at unimagined energies is also possible with intense lasers. Under extreme conditions crystalline structures in molecules can change from state to state, which along with the potential to change the atoms in these molecules, would allow the creation of new materials with novel properties. Examples of such conditions include extremes of temperature, magnetic or electric fields, pressure, plasma-based particle acceleration and production of warm dense matter in the lab. Creation of Warm Dense Matter of astro/geophysical interest via sudden heating of solid matter with short-duration ion bursts, diagnosis of non-linear plasma phenomena are of possible interest for fusion and space physics.
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