Laser-induced protons used for the first time for nuclear reactions

Detection of the reaction products by technology, from the field of superheavy elements

A collaboration between the research departments plasma physics and SHE chemistry at GSI succeeded in generating protons by bombarding thin targets with short pulses (500 fs) of the high-intensity PHELIX laser (200 J), which in turn were used for the first time to induce a nuclear reaction, by irradiating uranium-238. This process produced, among others, the volatile fission fragments iodine and xenon, which were transported from the target chamber to an activated carbon filter by means of a fast gas-jet transport as it is often used in the chemical study of superheavy elements. The fragments‘ decay was registered with a germanium detector. This collaboration is a good example of synergies between widely differing fields of research at GSI - in this case plasma physics and nuclear chemistry
The results were published in Scientific Reports of the journal Nature (see below).