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Higher energies for laser-accelerated particles possible
Date:7/2/2012

he HZDR scientists also with the help of simulations. Karl Zeil: "Experiments and simulations agree quite well with each other. With the newly obtained data we can now extend the presently existing models. This essentially means that ultra-short pulsed lasers like our DRACO laser could potentially be capable of generating protons with sufficiently high energy so that they can be used in future cancer therapy. That we were successful in obtaining these results is both very pleasing and very motivating."

DRACO Being Expanded, PENELOPE Newly Added

The DRACO laser currently reaches a peak power of 150 terawatts this translates into the output of all power plants in the world albeit only for a period of 30 femtoseconds at a time. The laser physicists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf want to expand DRACO to 500 terawatts and are currently building a petawatt laser system called PENELOPE. As a modern accelerator technology, particle acceleration with laser light provides considerable advantages when compared to conventional systems: The acceleration distance is much shorter and the costs for such systems are potentially lower. Currently, the OncoRay center, which is jointly supported by the cooperation partners HZDR, University Hospital, and TU Dresden, is building a modern proton therapy facility on the University Hospital's campus. The new facility will be used for cancer research and therapy. For the first time ever, the prototype of a high performance laser will be operated here in addition to a conventional proton accelerator.


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Contact: Anja Weigl
a.weigl@hzdr.de
49-351-260-2452
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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