Introduction to Nuclear Photonics
On January 1, 2019, the Hessian Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts has established the International Center for Nuclear Photonics at TU Darmstadt in the framework of the LOEWE initiative as a new research cluster. Nuclear Photonics is a new field of research that combines the investigation and application of high-power laser-based particle sources with techniques in nuclear physics, in particular photonuclear reactions. Establishing an International Center for Nuclear Photonics is aimed at providing a “home base” for Hessian, German, and International Groups for projects using new major research infrastructure, in particular in the context of the European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) that is currently being realized as a distributed center for research in Nuclear Photonics.
Within the LOEWE-funded research cluster, we combine our unique research expertise with the available and the upcoming research infrastructure both on a local as well as European level. The research focuses, but is not limited to, experiments at TU Darmstadt’s electron accelerator S-DALINAC, the GSI Helmholtz Research Center’s high-intensity laser system PHELIX, and the ELI pillars ELI-Beamlines in the Czech Republic and ELI-Nuclear Physics in Romania. The development of neutron and gamma-ray sources based on laser-matter and laser-electron interaction, respectively, and their application in basic science and technology is complemented by the development of instrumentation, in particular targets, detectors, and a new radiation source. Thereby Nuclear Photonics combines the research fields of laser and plasma physics, nuclear physics, and accelerator science.