Scientific Results

Generation of neutral and high-density electron-positron pair plasmas in the laboratory

Year: 2015

Authors: Sarri G., Poder K., Cole J.M., Schumaker W., Di Piazza A., Reville B., Dzelzainis T., Doria D., Gizzi LA., Grittani G., Kar S., Keitel C.H., Krushelnick K., Kuschel S., Mangles S.P.D., Najmudin Z., Shukla N., Silva L.O., Symes D., Thomas A.G.R., Vargas M., Vieira J., Zepf M.

Autors Affiliation: School of Mathematics and Physics, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BZ, UK
Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2099, USA
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 56124 Pisa, Italy
INFN, Sez. Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo, 3-56127 Pisa, Italy
Helmholtz Institute Jena, Fröbelstieg 3, 07743 Jena, Germany
GoLP/Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK

Abstract: Electron-positron pair plasmas represent a unique state of matter, whereby there exists an intrinsic and complete symmetry between negatively charged (matter) and positively charged (antimatter) particles. These plasmas play a fundamental role in the dynamics of ultra-massive astrophysical objects and are believed to be associated with the emission of ultra-bright gamma-ray bursts. Despite extensive theoretical modelling, our knowledge of this state of matter is still speculative, owing to the extreme difficulty in recreating neutral matter-antimatter plasmas in the laboratory. Here we show that, by using a compact laser-driven setup, ion-free electron-positron plasmas with unique characteristics can be produced. Their charge neutrality (same amount of matter and antimatter), high-density and small divergence finally open up the possibility of studying electron-positron plasmas in controlled laboratory experiments.

Journal/Review: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS

Volume: 6      Pages from: 6747  to: 6747

More Information: We are grateful for the support of the Central Laser Facility staff. The work of W.S., A.G.R.T., K.K. and M.V. was partially supported by the funding schemes National Science Foundation CAREER (grant 1054164) and National Science Foundation/Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (award no. F021166). G.S. and M.Z. wish to acknowledge financial support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grants: EP/L013975/1 and EP/I029206/1, respectively). LAG and G.G. acknowledge financial support from Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ELI-Italy) and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (CN5-g-RESIST). J.V., N.S. and L.O.S. wish to acknowledge the European Research Council (ERC-2010-AdG grant no. 267841), Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia, through grant EXPL/FIS-PLA/0834/2012. Z.N., S.P.D., J.M.C, K.P. wish to acknowledge financial support from STFC (grant no. ST/J002062/1). Access to the SuperMUC based in Germany at Leibniz research center was obtained through PRACE.
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7747

Citations: 113
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