High-Intensity Physics

    People

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Karl Krushelnick (Click here for Lab page 1 )     (Click here for Lab page 2 )
Research area keywords: Basic relativistic plasma studies, Table-top particle accelerators, Ultra-strong magnetic fields


My research is in the area of ultra-high intensity laser plasma interactions. At the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS) at Michigan we have several state-of-the-art high power short pulse laser systems including the "Hercules" laser - which will soon be operational at 0.5 Petawatts (1015 Watts). One major use of these laser systems is the development of "table-top" accelerators for both relativistic electrons and ions - and the subsequent production of narrow bandwidth x-ray sources. The interaction of intense laser pulses with high density targets is also important for "fast ignition" in inertial confinement fusion experiments. Our work in this area involves measurements of fast electron generation and propagation as well as measurements of the very large (Gigagauss) magnetic fields which can also be produced in these interactions.


Project
:
1. Tabletop electron accelerators using intense lasers

2. High order harmonic production using high power laser interactions with solid targets

3. Measurements of large magnetic fields produced from high intensity laser interaction
s


References:

S. P. D. Mangles, K. Krushelnick et al, Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser–plasma interactions, Nature 431, 535-538 (2004)

V. Malka, S. Fritzler, K. Krushelnick et al, Electron Acceleration by a Wake Field Forced by an Intense Ultrashort Laser Pulse, Science 298, 1596 (2002)

M. Tatarakis, I. Watts, F. N. Beg, E. L. Clark, A. E. Dangor, A. Gopal, M. G. Haines, P. A. Norreys, U. Wagner, M.-S. Wei, M. Zepf and K. Krushelnick , Laser technology: Measuring huge magnetic fields, Nature 415, 280 (2002)

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Todd Ditmire (Click here for Lab Page)
Research area keywords:

Professor Ditmire:


Project
:
1. Intense laser driver explosion of atomic clusters

2. Nuclear fusion from the explosions of laser driven deuterium clusters

3. Radiative shock waves in gases (of relevance to supernovae physics

References:

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Mike Downer (Click here for Lab page)
Research area keywords: Femtosecond laser spectroscopy, Semiconductor interface physics, Atomic, Molecular, Plasma physics at high light intensity


Professor Downer's group uses ultrafast laser techniques for investigations in two different areas: 1) the interaction of high intensity laser light with atoms, plasmas, and solid targets, and 2) to study kinetic processes and defect structures at semiconductor interfaces. Their research includes projects within the traditional categories of plasma, atomic and condensed matter physics.

Professor Downer is a fellow of the Optical Society of America.


Project
:
1. Laser wakefield accelerator structures excited and probed by femtosecond laser pulses

2. Properties of condensed matter under planetary interior conditions measured by femtosecond spectroscopy

References:

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R. P. Drake (Click here for Lab page)
Research area keywords: Astrophysical and Space Simulation, Basic Plasma Studies, Laser Fusion

Professor Drake teaches and pursues research in laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasmas at the University of Michigan. His current research emphasizes experimental astrophysics: the application of experimental facilities that produce high energy densities to the simulation of astrophysical and space phenomena. This has led to the publication in 2006 of his book High Energy Density Physics: Foundations, Inertial Fusion, and Experimental Astrophysics. He came to Michigan in 1996, where he directed the 13 M$/yr Space Physics Research Laboratory from 1998 -2002. Previously he was a Professor at the University of California Davis and a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1979 - 1996, during which period he served as Director of the Plasma Physics Research Institute and also conducted research in laser-plasma interactions while leading various projects including the activation of target experiments on the Nova laser facility. His research has included work on waves, turbulence, and instabilities, plasma hydrodynamics and radiation hydrodynamics, with application to laboratory astrophysics, space plasmas, basic plasma physics, laser fusion, magnetic fusion, plasma diagnostics, ionospheric heating, and quantitative optical measurements.  He has authored more than 180 scientific papers, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.


Project
:
1. Astrophysical and Space Simulation

2. Basic Plasma Studies

3.Laser Fusion


References:
R. P. Drake, H. F. Robey, O. A. Hurricane, B. A. Remington, J. Knauer, D. Arnett, D.D. Ryutov, J.O. Kane, K.S. Budil, J. Grove, "Experiments to produce a hydrodynamically unstable, spherically diverging system of relevance to instabilities in supernovae," Astrophys. J. 564, 896-908, (2002).

R.P. Drake, D.R. Leibrandt, E.C. Harding, C.C. Kuranz, M.A. Blackburn H.F. Robey, B.A. Remington, M.J. Edwards, A.R. Miles, T.S. Perry, R.J. Wallace, H. Louis, J.P. Knauer, D. Arnett, "Nonlinear mixing behavior of the three-dimensional Rayleigh-Taylor instability at a decelerating interface", Phys. Plasmas 11, 2829-2837 (2004)

R.P. Drake, Theory of radiative shocks in optically thick media, Phys. Plas. 14, 043301 (2007).


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Anatoly Maksimchuk (Click here for Lab page)
Research area keywords: Laser-matter interaction at relativistic intensities, table-top particle accelerators, high-power short pulse lasers


Dr. Anatoly Maksimchuk has a PhD from Lebedev Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, where he participated in inertial confinement fusion program and studied radiation transport in a hot dense plasma of the thermonuclear targets. In 1992 Maksimchuk joined the University of Michigan attracted by the prospectives of using high-intensity lasers for production of hot dense plasma. His current research projects include studies of laser-matter interaction at relativistic intensities and the development of table-top plasma accelerators for production of high-energy electron and proton beams and their applications for radiation therapy, generation of short monochromatic x-ray pulses and radioisotope production. He is the head of the experimental areas at the Hercules facility and the head of the 15 TW hybrid Ti:sapphire/Nd:glass T-cube laser.

Project:
1. Laser wakefield electron acceleration

2. Initiation of photo-nuclear reactions and photo-fission with electron beams from laser wakefield

3. Ion acceleration with ultra-intense pulses

References:
1. A. Maksimchuk, S. Reed, N. Naumova, V. Chvykov, B. Hou, G. Kalintchenko, T. Matsuoka, J. Nees, P. Rousseau, G. Mourou, and V. Yanovsky, “Energy scaling of quasi-monoenergetic electron beams from laser wakefields driven by 40 TW ultrashort pulses,” Appl. Phys. B: Lasers and Optics 89, 201 (2007).

2. S. Reed, C. R. Vane, V. Yanovsky, V. Chvykov, G. Kalintchenko, T. Matsuoka, D. Stracener, J. R. Beene, D. R. Schultz and A. Maksimchuk, “Efficient initiation of photonuclear reactions using quasi-monoenergetic electron beams from laser wakefield acceleration" J. Appl. Phys. 102, 073103 (2007).

3. A. Maksimchuk, K. Flippo, H. Krause, G. Mourou, K. Nemoto, D. Shultz, D. Umstadter, R. Vane, V. Yu. Bychenkov, G. I. Dudnikova, V. F. Kovalev, K. Mima, V. N. Novikov, Y. Sentoku,  and S. V. Tolokonnikov, “High-energy ion generation by short laser pulses,” Plasma Physics Reports 30, 473 (2004).

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Gennady Shvets (Click here for Lab page)
Research area keywords: Laser-plasma interactions, plasma based accelerators, photonics, nano-plasmonics, phonon-assisted nanolithography, compact surface-wave accelerators

I am interested in all aspects of nonlinear laser-plasma interactions at ultra-high intensities. This is one of the most rapidly growing fields of plasma physics which concerns itself with the nonlinear phenomena which take place when a laser pulse with intensity I > 1018 W/cm2 interacts with matter. At such intensities, the words "matter" and "plasma" can be used interchangingly because of the complete tunneling ionization of what used to be a gas/solid. Moreover, the jitter energy of the plasma electrons is equal to its rest mass (E = mc2 = 0.5 Mev , remember Mr. Einstein?), and electron dynamics becomes strongly relativistic.

Accessing this exotic parameter regime is very interesting from the fundamental standpoint. For example, it is believed that such ultra-relativistic interaction occur in the vicinity of pulsars and during the supernovae explosions. Interestingly, there is a number of real-life applications of the high-field science. One application, plasma-based accelerators, utilizes an important property of the plasma to sustain very large longitudinal electric fields (up to 100 Gev/m). For comparison, the peak accelerating field at the leading high-energy physics facility, Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), is only 20 MeV/m. If the promise of the plasma-based acceleration is ever fulfilled, you can have your own private SLAC in your backyard! But to accomplish that, we have to learn how to excite these fantastic electric fields using high-intensity femtosecond laser pulses.


Project
:

References:

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Victor Yanovsky (Click here for Lab page)
Research area keywords: ultrashort pulse generation, high power short pulse lasers, high field plasma physics


Dr. Victor Yanovsky has a PhD from Institute of General Physics of USSR’s Academy of  Sciences (1989). Before coming Michigan he had a research associate position at Cornell university and  a physicist position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he participated in developing of the first Petawatt laser and the first laser-cluster source of fusion neutrons. Here in Michigan he directs the  HERCULES laser- the highest intensity laser in the world, and is interested in ultrahigh-intensity  intensity interactions with solids including those in the radiation dominated regime , particle acceleration at high intensity and attosecond pulse generation from solid targets.


Project
:
1. Development of the first Petawatt-scale laser at high repetition rate

2. Laser- solid interactions at high intensity


References:
S.-W. Bahk, P. Rousseau, T. Planchon, V. Chvykov, G. Kalintchenko, A. Maksimchuk, G. Mourou, V. Yanovsky , “The generation and characterization of the highest laser intensity (1022W/cm2)”, Opt. Lett. 29, 2837 (2004).

V. Chvykov, P. Rousseau, S. Reed, G. Kalinchenko, and V. Yanovsky, “Generation of 1011 contrast 50 TW laser pulses” Opt. Lett., 31, 1456 (2006)

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John Nees (Click here for Lab page)
Research area keywords:

Mr. Nees is investigating the use of extremely high optical fields in driving matter into the relativistic domain. His current projects include solid-density laser interactions, x-ray generation for application to mamography and other hyperspectral imaging, ultrafast-laser based materials science, a novel technique for laser isotope separation and the generation of attosecond electron bunches and electromagnetic impulses. He is investigating the generation of positrons from relativistically strong laser pulse interactions with plasma and his collaborating in the development of a new line of investigation into radiation back-reaction in ultra-intense fields.

Mr. Nees was granted the 2006 Outstanding Investigator of the Year Award by the University of Michigan College of Engineering for his work spanning from picosecond optoelectronics to relativistic plasma research, in addition to teaching Advanced Lasers and Optics (EECS 438) for several years. He is currently serving as the President of the Ann Arbor chapter of the Optical Society of America.


Project
:
1. Attosecond physics

2. Relativistic lambda-cubed regime

References:
J. Nees;  N. Naumova; et al, Relativistic generation of isolated attosecond pulses: a different route to extreme intensity, Journal of Modern Optics, v52, Jan 2005, pp.305 - 319

N. M. Naumova, J. A. Nees, I. V. Sokolov, B. Hou, and G. A. Mourou, Relativistic Generation of Isolated Attosecond Pulses in a lambda3 Focal Volume, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 063902 (2004)

Bixue Hou, John A. Nees, el at, Dependence of hard x-ray yield on laser pulse parameters in the wavelength-cubed regime, Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 2259 (2004)

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FOCUS Contact Information:
Professor Georg Raithel, Director, Randall Laboratory,University of Michigan,
4255 Randall Lab, 450 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1040
Phone: (734) 647-9031, Fax: (734)
763-4934 email: tmwells@umich.edu