Ultra short high power lasers for neutron production

Neutron beams are a powerful analysis tool in nuclear physics with applications in a wide variety of fields. Nowadays, these neutrons beams are produced in huge and complex accelerator facilities or nuclear reactors, limiting their applications and the transfer of knowledge outside research centers. However, the development of ultra-short high power lasers and their use as particle accelerators could provide pulsed neutron beams competitive with conventional ones. In this context, our research team from Universidad de Sevilla, in collaboration with other research teams with a vast experience in pulsed neutron beams, intends to carry out a series of experiments. The main goal is to produce and characterize laser-driven neutrons to lay down the viability of carrying out nuclear physics experiments in this kind of sources by identifying the advantages and disadvantages of this production method.