Relativistic laser physics
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The research of the relativistic laser physics group is focused on the development and application of high-power laser systems reaching peak powers in excess of 100 TW. In our group, the laser system POLARIS has been developed. Currently, POLARIS is the only fully diode-pumped system producing 100-TW pulses, which are can be used for experiments. With such laser pulses, we investigate the acceleration of charged particles (electrons, protons or heavier ions) from laser-generated plasmas to energies of several 10’s or 100’s of MeV. The development of suitable diagnostics, most notably a few-cycle optical probe pulse, allows for detailed studies with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Possible applications of the generated particle pulses, in particular the generation of ultra-short pulses of secondary electro-magnetic radiation or the application of laser-accelerated proton pulses for cell irradiation, are also investigated.