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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C003586/1
Title: High power laser science and applications at QUB
Principal Investigator: Lewis, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Borghesi, Professor M Riley, Professor D Zepf, Professor KM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Andor Technology Ltd
Department: Sch of Mathematics and Physics
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 13 September 2005 Ends: 12 March 2010 Value (£): 2,072,384
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Lasers & Optics Plasmas - Laser & Fusion
Scattering & Spectroscopy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The advent of chirped pulse amplification technology has lead to an amazing spurt in available pulsed power from relatively compact optical laser systems in the last decade. In turn, the focussed intensities achievable from such lasers has increased by many orders of magnitude and to the point where light-matter interactions can be studied in very exotic parameter space, not previously accessible. Creation of solid density plasma, acceleration of ions to multi-MeV energy, generation of defects and damage within crystalline media on picosecond timescales and production of sub-femtosecond duration XUV radiation from plasma mirrors moving at relativistic velocity are just some of the topics that can be addressed and these will be studied in this project. A versatile laser incorporating synchronised nanosecond (~0.1 TW), picosecond (~10 TW) and femtosecond (~ 1 TW) pulse beamlines will be assembled in customised laboratory space at Queen's University Belfast and used in a variety of pump-probe type experiments where mHz shot rates will be possible. For example, transient dynamics in non-equilibrium states of matter and plasma, induced by photon or proton beam irradiation, will be studied with picosecond temporal resolution using both incoherent and coherent x-ray sources as probe beams. All work will be supported by numerical modelling using particle-in-cell and hydrodynamic codes. These fundamental science issues are of major interest in many areas spanning plasma physics to condensed matter physics. The science addressed here is complementary to the ultra-high intensity science issues that can only be explored using larger national facility type lasers.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk