The experimental campaigns
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The experimental project
At the outset of an experiment, researchers look to validate a physical model or a calculation code, or to acquire new physical data to input into models. A project team is set up to design, prepare and carry out the experiment and interpret its results.
An experiment on a high-power laser lasts several billionths of a second (a few nanoseconds, where 1 nanosecond is equal to 10-9 second). Between 10 and 15 experiments will be carried out over the course of an average campaign, which spans several days or weeks. Performance of an experimental campaign requires nearly three years of work, from preparation to exploitation and interpretation of the results.
Many complex and interacting phenomena come into play during the course of an experiment. The project team brings together specialists to deal with the scientific issues and the technical questions concerning the laser, target and measuring instruments.
The design of an experiment involves a number of stages, including:
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