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The High Field Science group has three state-of-the-art high power laser systems: HERCULES is a Ti:Sapphire laser system operating at 300 TW and is at present the highest intensity, short pulse (sub-100fs) repetitive laser in operation. In 2008 it has achieved a record peak focused intensity of 2×1022 Wcm-2 (Fig. 1) and operates at a repetition rate of 0.1 Hz. The lambda-cubed high-repetition-rate Ti:Sapphire laser system operates at 500 Hz with a power of 0.1 TW, and through the use of adaptive optics, has the unique ability to produce relativistic intensities at high-repetition-rate, enabling the systematic study of these plasmas. T-cubed is a 15 TW Nd:Glass laser system operating with longer pulses of 400 fs duration. These complimentary systems allow us to study relativistic plasmas under a range of conditions.


All of the target areas are fully equipped for High Field Science experiments. The HERCULES laser has two target areas, one of which is designed to be used  for laser wakefield acceleration experiments, while the second is used for interactions with solid targets to examine electron, ion and radiation generation. A number of useful items of equipment are already available for research at the high field facility, including: visible and x-ray streak cameras; visible and x-ray CCD cameras, probe beams for shadowgraphy/interferometry, nanosecond lasers to generate pre-formed plasmas, XUV grazing incidence spectrometers, UV Seya-Namioka spectrometers, visible spectrometers, electron spectrometers as well as x-ray, gamma-ray and nuclear activation detectors.


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