Nuclear collisions induced by single-cycle laser pulses: molecular approach to fusion Conference Paper uri icon


  • We study the possibility for energetic nuclear collisions in a gas of molecules driven by ultra-intense and ultra-short laser pulses. The idea is to use the fact that nuclei in a molecule can be pre-aligned in front of each other and can be driven into each other by a very strong (field intensities approaching 1023 W/cm2) and ultra-short (few-femtosecond, single-cycle) laser pulse, since the nuclei of different masses will acquire different velocities when driven by the same electric field. The nuclei may collide with high kinetic energy needed to overcome the Coulomb barrier, and these collisions may lead to fusion. We have performed classical simulation of nuclear motion and a simple statistical ensemble calculation. Our results show that nuclear collisions may occur on a sub-attosecond time scale, during which the nuclei will experience large acceleration and emit zeptosecond bursts of light. 2004 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Sokolov, A. V., & Zhi, M.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Sokolov, AV||Zhi, M

publication date

  • November 2004