A neutron star atmosphere in the laboratory with petawatt lasers

S. J. Moon, S. C. Wilks, R. I. Klein, B. A. Remington, D. D. Ryutov, A. J. MacKinnon, P. K. Patel, A. Spitkovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We discuss the preliminary estimates to create Neutron Star atmospheric conditions in the laboratory and the possibility of generating photon bubbles. The minimal requirements for photon-bubble instability could potentially be met with a properly configured 10 ps petawatt laser experiment. The high energy (multi-MeV) electrons generated by an ultra-intense laser interacting with a foil are coupled to the electrons in the solid to heat the entire solid generating high thermal temperatures. Small amounts of matter could potentially be heated to ~1 keV temperatures with large radiation temperature. Additionally, 2-D PIC simulations show large B-fields on both the front and back of these targets with B fields consistent with experiments using the petawatt at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Tatarakis, M. et al.: 2002c, Nature 415, 280).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Neutron star atmosphere
  • Petawatt laser


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