Fundamental Physics with Strong Fields

Reconfiguration of some HiPER beam lines (in an OPCPA mode) is being explored to provide laser beams with powers from 100 Petawatt to 2 Exawatts, potentially focusable to intensities of 1026 Wcm-2.  

Such a configuration of HiPER would be driven principally by the need to provide highly penetrating probes of the compressed fusion plasma.  Ultra-high intensities provide a wide array of photon and charged particle probing sources that could help optimise the fusion energy production from HiPER.

In addition to this, there is the potential to address new areas of science, about which this section speculates.  These are immature areas of development requiring much further work before HiPER would be configured to address them.  Key to this assessment will be the science output over the next few years from emerging multi-Petawatt laser facilities, and in particular the proposed Extreme Light Infrastructure project, ELI.  This is a dedicated facility listed in another section of the ESFRI roadmap which is designed to provide a flexible set of beamlines to specifically address ultra-high intensity interaction physics.