“Boiling the vacuum”: in silico plasmas under extreme conditions in the laboratory and in astrophysics
Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon
Laser technology has progressed tremendously since Theodore Maiman first demonstrated the laser in 1960. One of the most striking examples of this progress is the focused intensity of lasers. Present day lasers in the near infrared frequency range can deliver intensities in excess of 1023 W/cm2. Imagine that you have a very large and powerful lens that captures the light of the sun hitting the upper atmosphere of the Earth and focus it down to a region with the cross section of a human hair. The corresponding intensity is in the range of the most intense lasers now available.
© European Physical Society, EDP Sciences, 2017