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High Power Laser-Matter Interaction

High Power Laser-Matter Interaction

Author: Peter Mulser

Publisher: Springer


Publish Date: July 5, 2010

ISBN-10: 3540506691

Pages: 416

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

In the present volume the main aspects of high-power laser–matter interaction in the intensity range 1010–1022 W/cm2 are described. We offer a guide to this topic for scientists and students who have just discovered the field as a new and attractive area of research, and for scientists who have worked in another field and want to join now the subject of laser plasmas. Being aware of the wide differences in the degree of mathematical preparation the individual candidate has acquired we tried to present the subject in an almost self-contained manner. To be more specific, a bachelor degree in physics enables the reader in any case to follow without difficulty. Generally fluid or gas dynamics and its relativistic version is not a part of this education; it is developed in the context where it is needed. Basic knowledge in theoretical mechanics, electrodynamics and quantum physics are the only prerequisites we expect from the reader. Throughout the book the main emphasis is on the various basic phenomena and their underlying physics. Not more mathematics than necessary is introduced. The preference is given to ideas. A good model is the best guide to the adequate mathematics.

There exist already some but not so many, however, good volumes and some monographs on high-power laser interaction with matter. After research in this field has grown over half a century and has ramified into many branches of fundamental studies and applications producing continuously new results, there is no indication of saturation or loss of attraction, rather has excitement increased with the years: “There are no limits; horizons only” (G.A. Mourou). We take this as a motivation for a new attempt of presenting our introduction to the achievements from the beginning up to present. An additional aim was to offer a more unified or more detailed view where this is possible now. Furthermore, the reader may find considerations not encountered in existing volumes on the field, e.g., on ideal fluid dynamics, dimensional analysis, questions of classical optics, instabilities and light pressure. In view of the rapidly growing field of atoms, molecules and clusters exposed to superstrong laser fields we considered it as compulsory to dedicate an entire chapter to laser–atom interaction and to the various modern theoretical approaches related to it. Finally, a consistent model of collisionless absorption is given.

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