Light sail boosted by instantaneous radiation pressure
Enrico Fermi Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2 CNR/INO (National Research Council, National Institute of Optics), Adriano Gozzini Laboratory, via G. Moruzzi 1, Pisa, Italy
3 Fluids and Flows group and J.M. Burgers Centre for Fluid Dynamics, Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Accepted: 24 March 2021
Published online: 4 May 2021
Light sail acceleration by ultrashort, superintense laser pulses is presently investigated as an approach to compact accelerators of matter. The usual light sail equation assumes a cycle-averaged light pressure, which becomes questionable for ultrashort pulse drivers or in the highly relativistic regime. Here, we remove such assumption and compute solutions of the light sail equations which show oscillations of the sail acceleration. The dependence of the final sail velocity on the temporal profile of extremely short pulses is discussed.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021