Ultra-Intense Gamma-Rays Created Using the Texas Petawatt Laser

In a series of experiments at the Texas Petawatt Laser (TPW) in Austin, TX, we have used attenuation spectrometers, dosimeters, and a new Forward Compton Electron Spectrometer (FCES) to measure and characterize the angular distribution, fluence, and energy spectrum of the X-rays and gamma rays produced by the TPW striking multi-millimeter thick gold targets. Our results represent the first such measurements at laser intensities > 10 21 W*cm-2 and pulse durations < 150 fs. We obtain a maximum yield of X-ray and gamma ray energy with respect to laser energy of 4% and a mean yield of 2%. We futher obtain a Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM) of the gamma distribution of 37{\deg}. We were able to characterize the gamma-ray spectrum from 3 MeV to 90 MeV using a Forward Compton Electron Spectrometer, with an energy resolution of 0.5 MeV and mean kT of ~ 6 MeV.. We were able to characterize the spectrum from 1 to 7 MeV using a Filter Stack Spectrometer, measuring a mean gamma-ray temperature for the spectrum from 3 to 7 MeV of 2.1 MeV.

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