The LULI main experimental facility is a high power multi-beam Neodymium glass laser with three experimental rooms and the state of the art instrumentation for the experiments and laser diagnostics. The laser is a six-beam system delivering up to 80 Joules per beam. The pulse duration is adjustable from about 150 ps to 3 ns, the wavelength is 1.06 µm and frequency conversion at 2 ? and 4 ? is possible. This facility is versatile in its use and has the unique capability of delivering more than 5000 targets shots per year. The experiments usually performed on LULI's main laser concern the following domains: laser-plasma interaction, fundamental physics and atomic physics of hot and/or dense plasmas, x-ray laser research, incoherent x-ray sources, laboratory astrophysics with intense lasers, material processing by laser-induced shocks.
The main laser can either be used by 1 group only in the case of full facility experiments, or it can be shared by 2 groups in the case of 1-3 beam experiments. An independent ultra-intense chirped-pulse amplification laser chain (30 J in typically 350 fs, synchronised with a 50 J, 1 ns, uncompressed pulse) is available, with its own experimental room. The beam may be transported in another laboratory to be coupled to an electron accelerator. This laser system allows experiments in the domain of laser-plasma interaction in the relativistic regime, wake field particle acceleration, laser-induced nuclear physics, transient inversion x-ray lasers, new concepts in laser fusion.
The total amount of laser time available through the duration of the contract is 18 weeks on the Main Installation and 15 weeks on the Ultra-High Intensity line. Each fall, a Call for Proposals appears in Physics World and in Physics Today. The call for proposals is also available on our web site. Simultaneously, we invite, by mail, potential users to bid. Projects received before the deadline (in November) are examined by a European Selection Panel including 8 scientific experts from 5 different European countries. This Panel allocates laser time to the projects (i.e. a certain number of weeks for use of our facilities) on the basis of their scientific excellence. Priority is given to new users.
Arnold Migus, Ecole Polytechnique, route de Saclay, Palaiseau 91128, France