A 2004 Nature article, featuring the work done on the Central Laser Facility's (CLF) Astra laser by a team led by Imperial College, has crossed the coveted milestone of 1000 citations.
An article featuring work carried out by a team led by Imperial College on the CLF’s Astra laser - precursor to the current Gemini facility - on 'Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser–plasma interactions’ and published in the journal Nature in 2004 (link opens in a new window), has reached the coveted academic milestone with over 1000 citations.
These first experimental observations were a pivotal milestone in plasma-based particle acceleration and were published in Nature alongside two other groups that also reported on mono-energetic electron beams driven by laser plasma acceleration within a gas jet. The results made it onto the journal’s front cover and received wide coverage, being named as the ‘dream beam’ and future of accelerator science.
Over the last decade laser wakefield acceleration, as it is now known, has been widely explored by many groups and proposals for access to the CLF’s Gemini laser are regularly dominated by experiments to study and optimise the mechanism in light of its enormous application potential.
Dr Stuart Mangles (John Adams Institute, Imperial College London), lead author of the article, explains “Those early results really showed that the dream of compact, university or hospital laboratory scale particle accelerators might really be possible. Now with Astra Gemini at RAL, we are able to produce GeV electron beams in just one centimetre and create X-rays that we are investigating using for biomedical imaging and probing matter under the extremely high temperatures and pressures that occur inside stars and planets”.
"It's great to see that our paper has attracted so much attention over the years, the laser wakefield accelerator community is really going from strength to strength and with the right levels of investment I believe the UK can stay at the cutting edge of this exciting field."
Prof. Zulfikar Najmudin,
Imperial College London