The availability of super-intense laser pulses and the planned development of new large-scale and medium-size facilities dedicated to the generation of laser light with unprecedented capabilities calls for a vigorous effort to study laser-matter interactions in the ultra-high intensity regime. Europe is at the forefront of the scientific and technological advances in this fast-growing and highly competitive domain at the frontier of Physics, thanks to its strong commitment in the implementation of new sources of super-intense laser radiation. Foremost among the projects relevant to this field are ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure), HiPER (High Power laser Energy Research facility) and FLASH (Free-electron LASer in Hamburg). Other medium-size facilities delivering intense and ultra-short (femtosecond) pulses of infra-red coherent radiation, which are grouped in the Laserlab-Europe consortium, are also available. In addition, Europe plays a leading role in the development of sources of high-order harmonics, which deliver pulses of ultra-violet radiation with durations in the attosecond range. This proposal requests support for a combined effort of leading European research groups to investigate fundamental processes and applications in super-intense laser-matter interactions, ranging from ultra-fast phenomena on the attosecond scale to ultra-strong interactions of matter with petawatt pulses. The SILMI network represents an invaluable opportunity to allow European scientists to discuss new trends in the field, encompassing theory, experiments and applications. The network will orient research efforts, coordinate their implementation and promote the transfer of knowledge between the participating groups. It will also allow young European scientists to broaden their training and increase their professional skills by interacting with first-rank scientists in an international environment and in a rapidly expanding ara of science and technology.
Proposal (pdf 204 KB)
Super-intense-lasers, Attophysics, Multiphoton processes, Laser-plasma interactions
5 years; May 2009 - May 2014