Alexander Thomas

Professor – Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, College of Engineering,
Professor – Applied Physics, College of Literature, Science and the Arts

office: 6107 Engineering Research Building 2 (ERB)
address: 2200 Bonisteel Blvd. – Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2099
phone: (734)763-6008

Research area keywords: Laser-plasma interactions at relativistic intensities, particle acceleration with intense lasers, computer modeling.

Research Profile on Google Scholar and on Michigan Research Experts.

My research interests comprise computational and experimental laser-plasma interaction physics, including the development of compact particle accelerators using lasers; particularly laser wakefield acceleration of electrons. The Hercules laser at CUOS is currently the most intense laser system in the world, up to 1022 Wcm-2. At such intensities, not only is electronic oscillation in the electromagnetic fields highly relativistic, but also the photon flux emitted by the oscillating charges is sufficient to impart a significant change of momentum to the electrons. Studying fundamental high-field and plasma physics under such conditions is important to a number of research topics, including particle acceleration, radiation generation, and quantum effects. In addition, I am interested in the development of innovative computational models for studying plasma physics under non-equilibrium conditions, where fluid models are not valid, relevant to inertial confinement fusion and fast ignition scenarios.