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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I031766/1
Title: Fluid Theory and Simulation for Laser-Plasma Interactions
Principal Investigator: Kourakis, Dr I(
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Mathematics and Physics
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 November 2011 Ends: 30 April 2013 Value (£): 99,778
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Plasmas - Laser & Fusion
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 May 2011 EPSRC Physical Sciences Physics - May Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Our research embraces the areas of nonlinear physics and soliton theory, as applied in plasma physics and laser-plasma interactions. We shall make extensive use of the paradigm of a soliton, that is a structure (e.g., bell-shaped) which is localised in space and possesses a stationary profile which remains unchanged in time. Typical examples of soliton-relevant contexts include tsunamis and rogue/freak waves in the ocean, optical pulses in fiber optics, signal transmission across membranes, and others. Solitons owe their remarkable properties to a delicate balance between dispersion and nonlinearity, also undergoing generic physical mechanisms, such as perturbations, dissipation, noise (due to turbulence in the background), to mention but a few. In an idealised picture, solitons survive through mutual collisions, which makes them significant entities to support information and signal transcmission in various media (nonlinear optics, condensed matter physics). In plasma physics, solitons occur in the modelling of propagating localised electromagnetic/electrostatic modes, which occur in abundance in experimental or Space observations. Notwithstanding the different scales of parameters involved, localised structures are ubiquitous in plasmas at all levels, including laboratory plasmas (e.g. experiments on low-temperature discharge plasmas and on laser-matter interactions at the host Centre, CPP/QUB), Space plasmas (e.g. in the magnetosphere, the physics of the bow shock, or the Earth's aurora), astrophysics (pulsar radio emission is associated to solitons) and dusty plasmas in the interstellar space. We therefore expect our findings to be of relevance in various areas of plasma physics and certainly of interest to researchers in the UK and overseas. We aim at studying the dynamics of electromagnetic solitons in laser plasmas. Laser-plasma interaction (LPI) is perhaps the fastest evolving area in modern plasma science. Apart from its challenging relevance in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) schemes, the area of LPI bears a vast field of applications in industry and technology (e.g. laser design for microelectronics application, perspective for improved laser based appliances). A great amount of fundamental (theoretical) and experimental research is now carried out in the UK and worldwide, boosted by tremendous possibilities of new generation lasers producing ultrashort pulses at ultrahigh intensities. The host Centre (CPP/QUB) boasts some of the leading experimental groups in the UK in LPI.The aim and scope of the proposed research consist of a comprehensive investigation of the dynamics of intense electromagnetic pulses in plasmas, employing analytical and numerical techniques from nonlinear fluid plasma theory. Our aim is to investigate previously unexplored aspects of EM solitary wave propagation, in particular focusing on two-dimensional (2D) geometry effects on EM soliton propagation. A number of relevant areas will be investigated. The derivation of two-dimensional (2D) soliton evolution equations will be undertaken from the fluid-Maxwell model. The soliton equilibrium equations will be solved to obtain the field profiles associated with the soliton. A two dimensional fluid code will then be developed. The numerical soliton solution will be used as initial condition for the time evolution studies. The propagation of 2D solitons in uniform as well as non-uniform plasma will be investigated using a fluid code, by considering different types of density inhomogeneity. If the solitons are found stable in homogeneous plasma, mutual collisions among two solitons will be studied in a realistic parameter regime. This should provide the possibility for a direct comparison of these solitons with the known topological solitons. Furthermore, we envisage to focus in particular on an extensive multiscale analysis of laser pulse dynamics to extend and improve earlier theorie
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL: http://www.kourakis.eu
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk