Applications of Laser-Accelerated Protons

The advent of high-power ultra-short lasers has opened up the field of laser-driven particle acceleration, in particular proton and electron acceleration. The investigation of these laser-accelerated beams and its use is currently challenging many research laboratories worldwide, in particular for the improved characteristics of these sources such as compactness, versatility, and tunability. As such, this new acceleration technique has a strong potential of being employed in diverse applications. Currently, the main applications include for laser-driven proton acceleration their use in astrophysics, being used as a bright ultra-short neutron source, in fusion, in medicine as an injector for large scale accelerators in materials science, and in cultural heritage.

In this lecture, I will give a brief overview of applications of laser-accelerated protons with a strong emphasis on material science applications (other applications will be covered by dedicated lectures). Theses applications include domain such cultural heritage, stress testing, and advanced material synthesis,