2nd Training Week (Belfast)

The second training week “High power laser matter interactions/High energy density physics” Intensive program was held at at Queens University Belfast, in Belfast (UK) between March 26-30 of 2018.

It consisted of a set of 4 lectures distributed over the morning period (09:00 to 13:00) on each day of 26th -30th March inclusive and a set of laboratory sessions that took place over the afternoon period (14:00 to 18:00) on each day of 26th -29th March inclusive.

Number of Participating Students per Organization

Technological Educational Institute of Crete 3
Panepistimio Ioanninon 3
University of York 3
The Queen’s University of Belfast 3
Universite de Bordeaux 3
Ecole Polytechnique 3
Universidad de Salamanca 3
Ceske Vysoke Uceni Technicke V Praze 3

Training Program (Timetable)

Lecture I. High Power Lasers (Brendan Dromey)
Section 1: Fundamentals of laser pulse production
1.1 Pulse Synthesis –beat patterns and Fourier analysis
1.2 Ideal wave equation and coherence in space and time
1.3 Partial coherence and the limits – transform and diffraction
Section 2: Designer light
2.1 Gain in optical systems and Cavities
2.2 Selecting the desired properties of light using cavities
2.3 Amplified spontaneous emission – can we do better?
Section 3 : Ultrafast laser pulses
3.1 Fourier transforms (Again!) – there’s two parts to it
3.2 Dispersion in laser systems – management and control
3.3 Kerr lens modelocking – ultrafast optics
3.4 Group velocity dispersion – what is it?
3.5 Chirped pulse amplification lasers
3.6 Peak powers and limits

Lecture II. Coherent Laser-driven XUV Sources (Mark Yeung)
Section 1: Attosecond pulse trains
1.1 Why do we need coherent XUV sources?
1.2 Pulse trains and high order harmonics
Section 2: High harmonic generation in gases
2.1 Single atom mechanism – the three-step model
2.2 Macroscopic effects – phase-matching
2.3 Isolating single pulses
Section 3: High harmonic generation from plasma surfaces
3.1 Intense laser-surface interactions
3.2 Coherent wake emission (CWE)
3.3 The relativistically oscillating mirror (ROM) mechanism
3.4 Polarisation gating at relativistic intensities

Lecture III. Warm dense matter in the laboratory (David Riley)
Section 1: Background
1.1 Definition of Warm Dense Matter
1.2 Occurrence and importance
Section 2: Generating Warm Dense Matter
2.1 Shock heating and compression with lasers and ion beams
2.2 Volumetric heating with x-rays including X-ray FELs
2.3 Proton and electron beams
2.4 Explosives and other methods
Section 3 : Diagnosing Warm Dense Matter
3.1 X-ray scattering
3.2 Absorption spectroscopy
3.3 Emission spectroscopy
3.4 Shock measurements

Lecture IV, Laser-driven ion acceleration – Part 1 (Marco Borghesi)
Section 1: Introduction
1.1 General properties
1.2 Historical perspective
1.3 Main laser requirements
Section 2: Target Normal Sheath Acceleration
2.1 The basic process
2.2 State of the art
2.3 Beam properties
2.4 Modelling and Scaling
2.5 TNSA Optimization
Section 3 : Emerging acceleration mechanisms
3.1 Radiation Pressure
3.2 Hole Boring and Light Sail
3.3 Shock Acceleration
3.4 Experimental evidence of RPA
3.5 Acceleration in the relativistic transparency regime
3.6 Innovative targetry for ion acceleration

Lecture V. Laser-driven ion acceleration – Part 2 (Dr. Satya Kar)
Section 1: Introduction
1.1 Quick review of Part-1
1.2 Properties of laser driven proton beams
1.3 Potential applications and requirements
Section 2: Proton radiography
2.1 The technique, temporal and spatial resolution
2.3 Probing static and warm dense matter
2.4 Probing highly transient and dynamic Electric and magnetic fields.
Section 3 : Secondary sources : neutrons
3.1 Light ion fusion reactions
3.2 Neutron beam properties
3.3 Neutron moderation
Section 3 : Radiobiology
4.1 Ultra-high dose rate and DNA damage
4.2 Recent experiments checking radiobiological effectiveness
4.3 Potential towards laser-driven ion therapy

Laboratory work.  (Steven White and Brendan Dromey)

  • CCD set up and calibration
  • Beam expansion and collimation
  • Routine near field and pointing diagnostics – sensitivity and what do the results reveal
  • Parabola alignment and focal spot measurement
  • Measure the coherence length/time of light
  • Determine the concentrations of metals in in unknown alloys using x-ray absorption.