The High Field Science group is engaged in a number of ongoing key research projects involving the generation of relativistic plasmas, including table-top acceleration of high peak-energy electron beams using plasma bubbles, acceleration of high quality energetic ion beams, the generation of high brightness x-ray pulses and laser driven neutron sources. Electron and x-ray beams from a compact accelerator could be used for applications across a broad range of scientific, engineering and technical fields. These include: molecular crystallography, ﬂuorescence studies, chemical analysis, medical imaging, as well as radiological treatment for cancerous tumors, cellular biology, disease mechanisms, toxicology, atmospheric research, minerals exploration, forensics, through to exploring advanced materials such as nanostructures. A kilohertz repetition rate, 10 MeV electron beam source could find medical applications as a compact, inexpensive accelerator for intraoperative electron therapy or total skin irradiation for example. Higher resolution radiographs should also be possible, from x-rays produced by interaction of the beam with a solid target or from electron oscillations in the wakefield itself.
We are also involved with other studies, ranging from the investigation of phenomena related to generating fusion energy using lasers, to the use of laser-plasmas to study astrophysical phenomena and we are also working on the plasma simulation techniques, such as particle-in-cell modeling. Follow the links below or on the sidebar to find out more about the research we are undertaking here.