Laser-plasma interaction physics for the development of plasma accelerators and radiation sources

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Physics


High power lasers have emerged as an attractive driver for the generation of ultrabright pulses of high energy particles and radiation. The interaction of intense laser pulses with plasma results in beams of radiation with distinctive properties: multi-GeV electron beams, with tens to hundreds of pC charge, kA peak current, femtosecond duration and small energy spread; broadband proton beams with energy up to 100 MeV, picosecond duration bursts and ultralow emittance; high brightness bursts of tuneable THz, VUV and X-ray radiation.
The project focuses on the fundamental physics of particle acceleration and radiation generation in intense laser-plasma interactions. It includes experimental investigations using the 350TW laser at the Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma Accelerators (SCAPA) in the Physics department and external high power laser facilities at the Central Laser Facility in Oxfordshire and at several international laboratories. The project also involves numerical simulation of intense laser-plasma interaction phenomena, using ARCHIE-WeSt, to help guide the interpretation of experiment results.
The objectives of the project are to:
1. Investigate laser-plasma interaction physics for the development of plasma accelerators and radiation sources
2. Explore new schemes for the optimisation and control of plasma-based accelerators
The student will contribute to the planning and delivery of experiments using the SCAPA 350 TW laser. The student will also travel when necessary to perform research using external large scale national and international laser facilities. The project also involves performing numerical simulations to assist in planning experiments and in the interpretation of experimental data and to numerically investigate the underpinning physics.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517938/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2598005 Studentship EP/T517938/1 01/10/2021 31/03/2025 Maia Peat