Intense laser-matter interactions: radiation sources and fundamental physics
Title: Intense laser-matter interactions: radiation sources and fundamental physics
SNIC Project: SNIC 2020/6-69
Project Type: SNIC Medium Storage
Principal Investigator: Mattias Marklund <mattias.marklund@chalmers.se>
Affiliation: Göteborgs universitet
Duration: 2020-03-31 – 2021-03-01
Classification: 10302 10303 10301
Keywords:

Abstract

This project is a continuation of our group's research activity in the field of high-intensity laser-matter interactions, with a particular focus of radiation generation and fundamental physics. Our motivation is the commissioning of new, large-scale, high-intensity laser facilities in Europe and around the world, which will provide focussed intensities in excess of 10^23 W/cm^2. We will develop and study ways to use these lasers to generate extreme ultraviolet (XUV), X and gamma radiation by the irradiation of foils, wires and structured targets. At the same time, the strength of these fields brings new physical regimes into reach, where radiation reaction and quantum electrodynamical effects become important. We will find new methods to understand the physics of photon emission and electron-positron pair creation in strong fields, using lasers to mimic extreme astrophysical environments. Simulations play an essential role in all these scenarios, because of the highly nonlinear, geometrically complex, and multiscale nature of the interactions. They are particularly important to support and understand experiments, because the femtosecond duration of a typical laser interaction means that most diagnostics yield time-integrated data. Our group collaborates extensively with experimental groups in Sweden (the Relativistic Attosecond Physics Laboratory, Umeå University) and the UK (the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) on radiation generation and fundamental physics. Our work with the group of Laszlo Veisz at Umeå University has recently merited the award of a Research Environment grant from VR, dedicated to relativistic nanophotonics. Members of the group are also co-investigators on an experiment that has been granted beamtime on the Gemini laser (CLF, RAL) this year to investigate quantum radiation reaction. A significant part of this project's use of computational resources will therefore be dedicated to experimental support, both at the design and data-interpretation stages, as well as to basic science questions of long-term importance.