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Simulation of a holographic plasma lens

Plasma Photonics

Plasma physics and gas dynamics enable ephemeral but exceptionally damage-resistant optics for controlling high-power light, with applications to next-generation lasers, advanced particle accelerators, and inertial confinement fusion. 

Velocity profiles measured with FLEET

Laser Diagnostics

Short pulses of intense light can quantify velocity, temperature, and species in a wide range of extreme environments from engines to hypersonic flows; we develop new methods for high-precision measurement in challenging settings.

Simulation of attosecond pulse generation

Relativistic Optics

Lasers that produce relativistic intensities accelerate electrons to near light speed within an optical cycle. The extreme nonlinearities of this regime are a rich source of new physics and a route to advanced x-ray and light sources.

Simulation of an electron-positron plasma

Electron-Positron Plasmas

The mass symmetry of matter-antimatter plasma changes fundamental plasma dynamics. Study of “pair” plasmas provides insight into basic plasma physics and offers a laboratory tool for understanding extreme astrophysical events.

Filamentation of a laser in plasma

High-Power Beam Propagation

The propagation of laser beams is governed by a complex interplay between nonlinear optics, fluid mechanics, and plasma physics.                                                                                                                                                                        

Laser Foil Interaction

Laser-Plasma Interactions

Interactions between high-intensity light and plasma produce a variety of instabilities, including stimulated scattering and filamentation; we ty to quantify these effects with large-scale simulations and high-power laser experiments.

Image of laser damage spot

Applied Optics

Applications of optics are found universally in engineering and science, from simply taking photographs to using lasers to manipulate individual cells or drive matter to high-energy-density states.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Light produced by a plasma mirror

Plasma Physics and Engineering

Plasma, the most common state of matter in the universe, is the key to fusion, plasma propulsion, and space physics. We tackle both basic and applied problems to advance plasma science and applications.                                                                                            

Vacuum chamber windows

Advanced Light Sources

The development of next-generation lasers and radiation sources requires management of optical energy and heat fluxes, adaptive control schemes, and harnessing recent advances in materials science and applied physics.