The interaction between medium-weight nuclei and a strong zeptosecond laser pulse of MeV photons is investigated theoretically. Multiple absorption of photons competes with nuclear equilibration. We investigate the sudden regime. Here the rate of photon absorption is so strong that there is no time for the nucleus to fully equilibrate after each photon absorption process. We follow the temporal evolution of the system in terms of a set of rate equations. These account for dipole absorption and induced dipole emission, equilibration (modeled in terms of particle-hole states coupled by the residual nuclear interaction), and neutron decay (populating a chain of proton-rich nuclei). Our results are compared with earlier work addressing the adiabatic regime where equilibration is instantaneous. We predict the degree of excitation and the range of nuclei reached by neutron evaporation. These findings are relevant for planning future experiments.

S. Kobzak, H. A. Weidenmüller, A. Pàlffy, “Laser-nucleus interactions in the sudden regime”, Phys. Rev. C 103, 044616 (2021).


Related to Project: B02