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LANL

Trident Laser Facility

Enabling world-class science in high-energy density physics and fundamental laser-matter interactions
April 12, 2012
Invisible infrared light from the 200-trillion watt Trident Laser enters from the bottom to interact with a one-micrometer thick foil target in the center of the photo. The laser pulse produces a plasma — an ionized gas — many times hotter than the center of the sun, which lasts for a trillionth of a second. During this time some electrons from the foil are accelerated to virtually the speed of light, and some ions are accelerated to energies of tens of millions of volts. In this time-integrated image, one sees many colorful plasmas that result from the collisions of energetic X-rays and particles with nearby surfaces. Various diagnostic devices located around the edge of the image are illuminated by the plasmas. The green light is caused by the second harmonic of the laser, and is produced by a nonlinear process taking place at the laser-plasma interface (see Chapter Four). Bits of debris from the target are seen as orange streaks of light, some of which ricochet from the surrounding environment, and some of which produce a colorful dance of twisted braids as they spin in flight

Invisible infrared light from the 200-trillion watt Trident Laser enters from the bottom to interact with a one-micrometer thick foil target in the center of the photo. In this time-integrated image, one sees many colorful plasmas that result from the collisions of energetic x-rays and particles with nearby surfaces.

Contact  

  • Operations Team Leader
  • Randy Johnson
  • (505) 665-5089
  • Email
  • Governing Board Contact
  • Ray Leeper
  • (505) 667-3653
  • Email

Operating Hours  

  • Shot Support
  • Mon-Thurs,
  • 7:30 am–5:30 pm
  • Maintenance
  • Alternate Fridays,
  • 7:30 am–5:30 pm

Unique laser capabilities and an extensive diagnostic suite provide an ideal platform for many experiments

The Trident Laser Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory is an extremely versatile neodymium-glass laser system dedicated to high energy density physics research and fundamental laser-matter interactions.

The laser system consists of three high-energy beams which can be delivered into two independent target experimental areas. The target areas are equipped with an extensive suite of diagnostics for research in ultra-intense laser matter interactions, dynamic material properties, and laser-plasma instabilities.

Discoveries made at the Trident facility include

  • laser-accelerated MeV mono-energetic ions
  • nonlinear kinetic plasma waves
  • transition between kinetic and fluid nonlinear behavior for plasma waves
  • other fundamental laser-matter interaction processes

Trident has achieved world records in many aspects of laser-accelerated ion research, including

  • beam emittance
  • conversion efficiency
  • proton and ion energies
  • other important parameters

Laser Capabilities
  • 2 long-pulse beams
    • 250 J each at 527nm, 100ps - 5ns
    • 1 kJ each at 1054nm, 100ps - 10µs
  • 1 short-pulse CPA laser beam
    • 120 J, 500 fs
    • 250 TW
  • Simultaneous long-pulse and short-pulse beams on target
  • Intensity > 1020 W/cm2 for short-pulse laser-matter research
  • Low pre-pulse for short-pulse laser-matter research
  • Diffraction-limited focusing for fundamental laser-plasma research
  • Raman cell amplifier for unique pump-probe laser-plasma experiments
  • 45 minute shot cycle
  • 1000 shots/year
Diagnostic Suite

MeV Particles

  • Thomson Parabolas, Ion wide angle spectrometer (IWASP)
  • Multilayer Radiochromic Films
  • CR-39 Detectors

X-ray

  • TIM Diagnostic Manipulator
  • Streak Cameras (< 10ps)
  • Gated Imagers (< 50ps)
  • Crystal and Grating Spectometers
  • Pinhole Cameras and Microscope
  • CCD Cameras
  • X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging
  • Transient X-ray Diffraction
  • Full Darkroom Services
    • film developing and scanning
    • image plate scanning
    • CR-39 etching and scanning

Optical

  • Point and Line-imaging VISARs
  • Transient Imaging Displacement Interferometry (TIDI)
  • Pyrometry and Ellipsometry
  • Streak Cameras
  • Imaging Spectrometers
  • CCD Cameras
  • Short Pulse Autocorrelator, 3rd order crosscorrelator, incident & reflected FROG, IFOX
  • 2w, 3w, 4ω Thomson Scattering
  • Backscatter Diagnostics
Target Areas

Target areas for Trident Laser Facility


Innovations for a secure nation

Four Los Alamos projects selected as R&D 100 Award finalists

Four Los Alamos projects selected as R&D 100 Award finalists

Finalists include X-ray imaging, pipe corrosion, data handling and damage-detection software  

» All Innovations

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Contact LANL

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Journalist Queries
Communications Office
(505) 667-7000

Directory Assistance
(505) 667-5061

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