High energy gain in three-dimensional simulations of light sail acceleration

Year: 2014

Authors: Sgattoni A., Sinigardi S., Macchi A.

Autors Affiliation: Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy; CNR, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, u.o.s. “Adriano Gozzini,” Pisa, Italy; Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy; INFN sezione di Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Dipartimento di Fisica “Enrico Fermi,” Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: The dynamics of radiation pressure acceleration in the relativistic light sail regime are analysed by means of large scale, three-dimensional (3D) particle-in-cell simulations. Differently to other mechanisms, the 3D dynamics leads to faster and higher energy gain than in 1D or 2D geometry. This effect is caused by the local decrease of the target density due to transverse expansion leading to a \”lighter sail.\” However, the rarefaction of the target leads to an earlier transition to transparency limiting the energy gain. A transverse instability leads to a structured and inhomogeneous ion distribution. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


Volume: 105 (8)      Pages from: 084105  to: 084105

More Information: We are grateful to F. Pegoraro for enlightening discussions and to P. Londrillo for help with the ALaDyn code. We acknowledge PRACE for access to the BlueGene/Q \”FERMI,\” based in Italy at CINECA, via the project \”LSAIL.\” Support from MIUR, Italy, via the FIR project \”SULDIS\” is also acknowledged.
DOI: 10.1063/1.4894092

Citations: 15
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