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  09-12-2010: FLAME LASER AND ELECTRONS FO THE X-RAYS OF THE FUTURE 
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Copyright INFN The use of photos is free of charge. Please request authorisation from the INFN Communication Office




The FLAME (Frascati Laser for Acceleration and Multidisciplinary Experiments) is being inaugurated today at the National Laboratories of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Frascati.
It is the laser with the highest power in its “range” ever to have been installed. FLAME can provide 300TeraWatt impulses lasting 20 femtoseconds, at a rate of 10Herz.
The project also involves the National Optics Institute of the Italian National Research Council (Ino-Cnr) in Pisa which will be contributing its skills as regards ultra-high power lasers for plasma (ionised gas) production.

With FLAME the INFN intends to develop new acceleration techniques with a view to dramatically reducing the size and costs of accelerators (like the one at CERN), making it easier to use them for research, medical and application purposes. The particles are accelerated by the laser like a surf board on the sea waves.
The synchronisation of the FLAME laser with a liner electron accelerator (Sparc) already in operation, makes the laboratory being inaugurated in Frascati unique: this combination makes it possible to produce a monochromatic X-ray source with possible applications in medical diagnostics, materials physics, , ultra-fast science, to mention but a few.
FLAME - explains Dr Andrea Vacchi, board member at INFN - brings together three ultra-high quality electron beams produced by the Sparc machine and the ultra-high power laser beam produced by FLAME. This technological combination leads to a source of monochromatic X-ray impulses whose colour can be selected as required. This is expected to be particularly useful in medical diagnosis because it should allow for “smarter” X-rays producing better quality images using less radiation.
FLAME, continues Andrea Vacchi, is also at the "core" of the devices used for the INFN strategic project PLASMONX (Plasma Acceleration and Monochromatic X ray production), with which Italy is contributing to the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) European project, anticipating its main topics by about a decade. It is a pioneering solution, unique in Europe, which is expected to lead to the production of clearer “smart” X-rays using less radiation, as well as to new and much more compact particle accelerators.

For information:

Romeo Bassoli
Head of Communications
Istituto Nazionale Fisica Nucleare
Piazza Caprettari 70, Roma
phone: 39.066868162
mob.: 3286666766
e-mail: romeo.bassoli@presid.infn.it


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