Special Article - New Tools and Techniques
Dense short muon source based on laser-ion accelerators
Department of Physics, National University of Defense Technology, 410073, Changsha, People’s Republic of China
2 School of Science, Shenzhen Campus of Sun Yat-sen University, 518107, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
3 Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Accepted: 1 December 2022
Published online: 16 December 2022
Muons have broad applications in fundamental science such as material science, chemistry, biology, and nuclear physics, which are produced mainly through the proton-nucleon reactions driven by RF-based accelerators in laboratories. However, the cost of improving the muon beam quality on conventional accelerators is increasingly unaffordable. We propose a novel scheme for obtaining an unprecedentedly dense and short muon source by combining the laser-ion accelerator and a conventional beam-converter. With full three-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations and Geant4 simulations, it is shown that a mm-scale, several-nanoseconds-duration surface muon source with a yield of , and a mm-scale, tens-picoseconds-duration flying pion beam with a yield of can be achieved via our scheme. These unique properties make the muon beams promising to improve the spatial resolution of muon spin rotation, relaxation, and resonance () or single crystals experiments in small samples and the temporal resolution of muon imaging radiography and tomography, together with the sensitivity to rare muon decay investigation. With the increase of laser repetition rate, the laser-driven muon source proposed via our scheme may also be applied for neutrino generation and fusion catalysis.
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