Before the reported work, the reported world-record power for laser pulses was 4.9 PW (Zeng et al. in Opt. Lett. 42, 2014 (2017)) and 4.2 PW (Sung et al. in Opt. Lett. 42(11), 2058 (2017)). The presented demonstration is doubling the peak power record, showing the production and propagation to an experimental area of the record-breaking 10 PW peak power pulses at the Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP), in Romania. These unprecedented power levels provide a solid foundation to perform the experimental investigation in fundamental and applied research, from nuclear physics and non-linear quantum electrodynamics to space science and medical applications.
The related research results are published on High Power Laser Science and Engineering, Vol. 10, Issue, 3 (Christophe Radier, Olivier Chalus, Mathilde Charbonneau, et al. 10 PW peak power femtosecond laser pulses at ELI-NP[J]. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 2022, 10(3): 03000e21), and is selected as cover paper.
Picture of the 10 PW beam dump installed for this experiment at the end of the transport line.
In the published paper, the authors show the methods used and the results obtained during the first 10 PW peak power laser demonstration in the world. It is shown how the High Power Laser System previously described by Lureau et al. in High Power Laser Science and Engineering 8, E43 (2020), was prepared and used to demonstrate this unprecedented power level. The presented report includes, in addition to the generation of the 10 PW pulses, the behavior of the pulses after the propagation through the dedicated Laser Beam Transport System (LBTS), until an experimental area, indicating no impact on the system integrity and demonstrating that ELI-NP is ready to start the experiments at this record power level.
The next step is the start of the first experimental campaign using the 10 PW peak power laser pulses, which, according to Dancus et al. in Frontiers in Optics / Laser Science, LW5G.3, (2020), can lead to on-target irradiance levels on the order of 1022 - 1023 W/cm2.
The entire scientific community is invited to challenge the understanding of the Universe and the limits of the knowledge through experiments at ELI-NP.
"With the first demonstration of the production and propagation of 10 PW peak power laser pulses, we touch an epiphanic moment", Professor Gerard Mourou, Nobel Prize Laureate, and the father of the ELI project, mentioned during the first experimental demonstration.
With this result, the ELI-NP reaches an important milestone in the implementation of a fully functional 2 × 10 PW femtosecond laser-driven nuclear physics facility, with its core mission described by S. Gales et al. in Reports on Progress in Physics 81, 094301 (2018) and K.A. Tanaka et al. in Matter and Radiation at Extremes 5, 024402 (2020).
ELI-NP Phase II, is a project co-financed by the Romanian Government and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and the Competitiveness Operational Program (1/07.07.2016, COP, ID 1334). The work was also supported by the contract sponsored by the Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation: PN 19 06 01 05.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of all the collaborators.