Welcome to the University of
Laser Matter Interactions group webpage.
The interaction of extremely intense laser pulses with solids,
liquids and gases has many technological applications and is
rich in physics. Our experiments involve elements of atomic
physics, nonlinear optics, plasma physics, condensed matter
physics and quantum electronics.
There are two conditions generated in our laser-matter interaction
experiments that make many of the applications possible, and motivate much of the
physics interest. The first is that intense lasers can locally
heat up matter to about 100 times the temperature of the sun.
This means that such heated
material is a strong x-ray source. The second is that high
laser intensities, the optical properties of materials behave in
altogether new ways. For example, at laser intensities greater
than about 1018 W/cm2 (routinely
generated in our lab), one must consider relativistic
corrections to the index of refraction! Such effects make
possible exotic laser-driven particle acceleration schemes, which
have the aim of shrinking existing multi-kilometer long
particle accelerators to the size of a table top.