The project objective is to study high-Alfvénic-Mach-number shock structures created in the laboratory. The team has already produced such shocks in the laboratory at LULI and Titan. For this, an intense laser pulse interacts with a thin target to drive a fast piston. When coupled with a strong external magnetic field, this piston generates a high-Alfvénic-Mach-number collisionless shock.

To go beyond previous studies, the proposal aims to take advantage of the ultrashort duration to drive the piston with five times higher velocity. It also proposes to use a three times stronger magnetic field. Thanks to these innovations, the Alfvénic Mach Number should reach 26, compared to 3.4 in previous experiments. According to the authors, this number is close to the one observed in non-relativistic supernova remnant. The project presents, therefore, a strong interest for astrophysics. It should also allow to push ion acceleration to higher energies (1.8 MeV instead of 80 keV) in such configuration, and to study a new acceleration mechanism: shock drift acceleration.