An all-optical centimeter-scale laser-plasma positron accelerator is modeled to produce quasimonoenergetic beams with tunable ultrarelativistic energies. A new principle elucidated here describes the trapping of divergent positrons that are part of a laser-driven electromagnetic particle-shower with a large energy spread and their acceleration into a quasimonoenergetic positron beam in a laser-driven plasma wave. Proof of this principle using analysis and particle-in-cell simulations demonstrates that, under limits defined here, existing lasers can accelerate hundreds of MeV pC quasi-monoenergetic positron bunches. By providing an affordable alternative to kilometer-scale radio-frequency accelerators, this compact positron accelerator opens up new avenues of research.

Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.

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4th gen nukes

4th gen nukes

So could such a tiny accelerator be useful for interstellar propulsion for a tiny probe?

So could such a tiny accelerator be useful for interstellar propulsion for a tiny probe?

There was no information on the efficiency of the system. How many joules of input power result in a joule’s worth of kinetic energy in the beam. Now for many to most application this is unimportant. If you want a particle beam for research, then whether your desktop system is 1% efficient or 0.01% efficient matters far less than the fact you didn’t need to spend a billion dollars in building it in the first place. But for interstellar propulsion or fusion power, the energy in to energy out equation becomes critical.

There was no information on the efficiency of the system. How many joules of input power result in a joule’s worth of kinetic energy in the beam.Now for many to most application this is unimportant. If you want a particle beam for research then whether your desktop system is 1{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} efficient or 0.01{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} efficient matters far less than the fact you didn’t need to spend a billion dollars in building it in the first place.But for interstellar propulsion or fusion power the energy in to energy out equation becomes critical.

Similar compact accelerators may be useful for fusion.

Similar compact accelerators may be useful for fusion.

There was no information on the efficiency of the system. How many joules of input power result in a joule’s worth of kinetic energy in the beam.

Now for many to most application this is unimportant. If you want a particle beam for research, then whether your desktop system is 1% efficient or 0.01% efficient matters far less than the fact you didn’t need to spend a billion dollars in building it in the first place.

But for interstellar propulsion or fusion power, the energy in to energy out equation becomes critical.

4th gen nukes

So could such a tiny accelerator be useful for interstellar propulsion for a tiny probe?

Similar compact accelerators may be useful for fusion.