Director, Center for Ultrafast Optical Science
Associate Director for High Field Science
Professor of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
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.