The principal experimental laser facility of the PALS Research Infrastructure is a terawatt iodine laser system, presently the second most powerful laser in EU member and newly associated countries. In the present configuration, the system generates up to ~1 kJ of energy in pulses with duration of ~400 ps, at the fundamental wavelength of 1.315 ¦m and up to ~350 J at its red and blue harmonics. Besides the main beam also lower energy auxiliary and diagnostic beams are available. The laser beams are delivered to a target facility, which consists of two large vacuum target chambers equipped with beam focusing assemblies and micro-positioning target mounts. The surface power density of the focused main beam in the focal spot reaches the order of 1016 Wcm-2. The hot dense plasma produced on the target surface makes it possible to generate intense soft x-rays, streams of highly stripped ions, and very high pressures, which are inaccessible by any other laboratory techniques.
Applications are invited for the beam time at PALS since March 2000. European scientists are offered access to PALS through support from the European Union's 5FP (Human Potential: Access to Research Infrastructures). The application procedure is described in detail in http://www.pals.cas.cz. There is a fixed deadline for presentation of project proposals each year: September 30. Project proposals are selected on the basis of scientific merit through an independent peer review procedure.
Karel Jungwirth, Pals Department - Institute of Plasma Physics, Za Slovankou 3, Prague 818221, P.O. BOX 17, Czech Republic