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HEDP   |   Pulsed Plasma Physics Group   |   Laser Matter Interactions   |   Center for Matter Under Extreme Conditions   |   Center for Frontiers in High Energy Density Science  |   ZNetUS

Center for Matter under Extreme Conditions (CMEC)


The Center for Matter under Extreme Conditions (CMEC) leads research and technological breakthroughs in High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) with emphasis on creation and diagnosis of extreme states of matter, both un-magnetized and magnetized, exploiting novel combinations of HED drivers to train future scientists, utilizing both modeling and experiments to develop a physics understanding of HED systems.  The Center also addresses the complex, interdisciplinary scientific problems pertinent to the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP).   

Principal Investigator: Farhat Beg


High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) Laboratory

High Energy Density Physics Laboratory

The HEDP group performs computer simulations and experiments at cutting edge laser facilities around the world, in order to study interactions of ultraintense lasers with solid and warm dense targets. Most experiments relate to the making of electron or proton beams that are able to ignite fuel via Fast Ignition; an advanced approach to Inertial Confinement fusion. Some of the issues we investigate include physics of laser/plasma interactions, improving laser-to-beam energy efficiency via target design, particle transport in warm dense matter, beam/plasma instabilities, and energy deposition in dense matter. The HEDP Group also studies Z-pinch plasmas- plasmas confined by an electrical current that runs along the z-axis- driven by pulsed power generators. These plasmas have applications in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and astrophysical plasmas. Experiments are carried out on campus using state of the art compact linear Transformer drivers.


HEDP Lab videos

Principal Investigator: Farhat Beg

Pulsed Plasma Physics Group

Pulsed Power Plasma Image

The Pulsed Plasma Physics Group investigates the properties of plasmas generated using high power electrical pulses and lasers, and how these can be used to investigate outstanding issues in plasma physics. These high energy density plasmas are often dense, fast-moving and strongly cooled, and experiments can be designed to examine a variety of topics. Of particular interest is the formation of flows and shocks in these plasmas, and how experiments can help understand aspects of star-formation and supernovae explosions. In energy research, we investigate an approach to fusion energy called inertial confinement, and how this might be incorporated into a power station design. The group compares experimental data from our on-campus laboratory to those from collaborators’ experiments and sophisticated computer codes to unravel the key mechanisms behind these processes.  

Principal Investigator
: Simon Bott-Suzuki

Laser Matter Interactions


Laser Matter Interactions

The Laser-Matter Interactions Group studies the interactions of high-energy short-pulse lasers with matter. Experimental studies are performed in the Laser Plasma and Laser Matter Interactions Laboratory, which houses several solid-state and gas lasers as well as an extensive suite of diagnostics. Applications of our work include soft xray light sources for next-generation semiconductor lithography, optics damage, surface patterning, LIBS (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy), PLD (pulsed laser deposition) and inertial fusion chamber dynamics.


Principal Investigator: Mark Tillack 

Center for Frontiers in High Energy Density Science (CFHEDS)

The Center for Frontiers in High Energy Density Science (CFHEDS) is a multidisciplinary partnership between the University of California and Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratories to transform the scientific and educational foundations of High Energy Density Science.
Project Dates: 03/01/2017 - 02/29/2020

Principal Investigator
: Farhat Beg


ZNetUS is a newly established consortium of scientists from academia and national laboratories.  While still in the early stages, the consortium will facilitate students and researchers to work on multiple facilities.

The goals of ZNetUS are: 

  • Share technology development with partners in the US
  • Work towards sharing MHD code(s)
  • Pursue funding for joint High Energy Density Science experiments
  • Collaborate on training opportunities for students and post docs
  • Develop High Energy Density Science Curriculum
  • Pursue mid scale facility (~ 10 MA) to explore science between small scale (~ 1MA) and 26 MA generators
  • Solicit increase in Z Fundamental Science shots

Farhat Beg is the organizing member.  As of November 2020, an Executive Committee has been established.  To join the email list to receive updates, proposal calls for user time and more, please email