Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Laser Research Shows Promise for Cancer Treatment: New insights gained on how lasers generate ions in dense plasmas

Sasi Palaniyappan (right) and Rahul Shah (left) inside a target chamber where the TRIDENT short pulse laser is aimed at a very thin foil target.
Sasi Palaniyappan (right) and Rahul Shah (left) inside a target chamber where the TRIDENT short pulse laser is aimed at a very thin foil target.

Abstract:
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have observed for the first time how a laser penetrates dense, electron-rich plasma to generate ions. The process has applications for developing next generation particle accelerators and new cancer treatments.

Laser Research Shows Promise for Cancer Treatment: New insights gained on how lasers generate ions in dense plasmas

Los Alamos, NM | Posted on August 20th, 2012

The results, published online August 19 in Nature Physics, also confirm predictions made more than 60 years ago about the fundamental physics of laser-plasma interaction. Plasmas dense with electrons normally reflect laser light like a mirror. But a strong laser can drive those electrons to near the speed of light, making the plasma transparent and accelerating the plasma ions.

"That idea has been met with some skepticism in the field," said Rahul Shah of LANL's plasma physics group. "We think that we've settled that controversy."

The team, which also included researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany and Queens University in Belfast, UK, used the 200 trillion-watt short-pulse TRIDENT laser at Los Alamos National Laboratory to observe the transparency phenomenon at 50 femtosecond resolution. Until now, those dynamics have been witnessed only in computer simulations.

The team found close agreement between the model and their experiments, which confirms what Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have long suspected—that directing a short-pulse laser at a very thin carbon foil target will make the foil transparent to the laser.

"In a sense it also validates the simulation code that researchers have been using for some time," said Sasi Palaniyappan of LANL's plasma physics group. "At the same time it also tells us that we're doing an experiment that's as close as possible to simulation."

The results will help advance work to control the shape and timing of laser pulses, precision that is necessary for developing next-generation, laser-driven particle accelerators, he said. The researchers have recently been awarded internal laboratory funding from the office of Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) to pursue these applications.

They now plan to add a second foil target, which could benefit from further focusing and faster turn-on of the laser light transmitted through the first foil. One application of the resulting ultra-short ion bunches is to rapidly heat material and study the ensuing dynamics.

Particles accelerated by conventional accelerators aren't fast enough for such physics experiments. Also, energetic ions are applicable to cancer therapy. A more compact, laser-driven ion source would make treatment less expensive and more accessible to patients.

This work was sponsored by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Office of Fusion Energy Sciences and the U.S. Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.

####

About Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sarah Keller
(505) 667-7000

Copyright © Los Alamos National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The paper is titled “Dynamics of relativistic transparency and optical shuttering in expanding overdense plasmas.” It can be accessed via digital object number http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/NPHYS2390. The DOI can be used to retrieve the abstract and full text (Nature Physics abstracts are available to everyone, full text only to subscribers).

Related News Press

News and information

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Physics

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Laboratories

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Present Preclinical Data on ARO-AAT at The Liver Meeting(R) October 10th, 2017

Arrowhead to Present at Chardan Gene Therapy Conference October 3rd, 2017

'CRISPR-Gold' fixes Duchenne muscular dystrophy mutation in mice October 3rd, 2017

Discoveries

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Announcements

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

Single ‘solitons’ promising for optical technologies October 9th, 2017

A dash of gold improves microlasers: The precious metal provides a 'nano' solution for improving disease detection, defense and cybersecurity applications October 9th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project