High Energy Density Physics Group awarded grant to carry out experiments at Omega Laser

January 2015


Omega Laser FacilityA team led by Professor Farhat Beg in the Center For Energy Research has been awarded a two-year grant from the National Laser Users’ Facility (NLUF). The NLUF provides university and industry access to one of the world's premier laser user facilities, the OMEGA Laser Facility. The program began in 1979 to provide a unique experimental environment for inertial fusion and high-energy-density physics, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Professor Beg’s High Energy Density Physics Group will use the award to systematically investigate fast electron propagation in pre-assembled uniform plasmas under controlled conditions. Fast electron transport through warm dense matter is particularly relevant in inertial confinement fusion schemes and astrophysical plasmas.

Post-doc Christine Krauland will lead the experiment. “Such a detailed study will provide urgently needed data on the transition of fast electron energy transfer from the kinetic to collisional regime that can be used to validate conductivity models used in transport codes, which is crucial for the development of the high-energy-density science,” Dr. Krauland said. “We’ve had success at smaller laser facilities, and this NLUF opportunity will allow us to access hotter and denser plasmas to make significant progress in understanding for fusion-relevant regimes.”

The award includes 4 experimental campaigns from 2015-2016 on the OMEGA facility’s Extended Performance laser system (pictured above). Professor Beg’s group will collaborative with scientists from General Atomics, the University of Rochester, the University of Bordeaux, and the University of Michigan.

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