Physics and Astronomy Colloquium - Dr. Matthew C. Levy - University of Oxford

Dartmouth Events

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium - Dr. Matthew C. Levy - University of Oxford

Title: "Extreme Laser Power and How To Use It: Terawatt Laboratory Astrophysics, Petawatt Coupling and Beyond"

Friday, February 12, 2016
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: Exponential progress in laser technology over the past 20 years has made possible new and exciting forms of laboratory studies. Laser systems in operation today can regularly achieve peak powers in excess of 1 petawatt (1015 Watts), enabling the creation and diagnosis of scaled astrophysical phenomena, and opening paths to table-top particle accelerators, ultrafast imaging sources, and inertial confinement fusion. In this presentation, I will show results using terawatt lasers to probe collisionless shock wave formation relevant to supernova remnants [1,2]. I will then discuss the relativistic physics that governs the coupling between the most powerful light sources on Earth — petawatt lasers — and dense matter [3].  Finally, I will remark on the exotic physics such as prolific electron-positron pair production that is anticipated in next-generation laser-matter interactions [4].


[1] Medvedev, M. V. & Loeb, A. Astrophys. J. 526, 697–706 (1999).

[2] Huntington, C. M. et al. Nat. Phys. 1–13 (2015).

[3] M. C. Levy et al., Nat. Commun., 5(May), 1–6. doi:10.1038/ncomms5149 (2014).

[4] US Department of Energy "Frontiers of Plasma Physics" whitepaper

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.