Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University
Physics Colloquium

Academic Year  2011 - 2012

The colloquium is held at Melamed Hall (Room 6) in the Shenkar Physics Building, every Sunday at 16:10. Light refreshments are served outside Melamed Hall at 15:50. 


November 20, 2011

"Petawatt to Exawatt Lasers: The Science and Technology of the Brightest Light Sources in History"

Prof. Todd Ditmire
Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin

  At the University of Texas we have constructed a high peak power, ultrafast laser which delivers power in excess of 1 petawatt (1015 W). This laser, the Texas Petawatt Laser, is presently the highest power laser in the world. The laser delivers 130 fs pulses with pulse energy exceeding 180 J. In my talk, I will report on the design and performance of the laser, including the technology used to access such high powers and near 100 fs compressed pulse duration. With this unique pulse characteristic, the Texas Petawatt has applications in a number of scientific areas. These applications include bright, ultrafast neutron generation, the study of hot dense plasmas with pressures exceeding 1 Gbar, and the generation of wakefield accelerating structures in plasmas capable of accelerating electrons to many GeV of energy. The laser will also produce focused intensities exceeding 1021 W/cm2, intensity at which light-matter interactions take on many exotic characteristics. I will present an overview of many of these science applications with a particular eye toward describing the first campaigns of experiments executed this past year. Furthermore, I will consider the possibility of developing new materials which, when used in an architecture similar to that of the Texas Petawatt, could lead to amplification of pulses with energy up to 10's of kJ while retaining bandwidth needed for ~100 fs recompressed pulse duration. Such an approach could lead to the construction of an Exawatt laser within 10 years. I will conjecture on the kinds of science made possible with such a high power laser.  

Host: Prof. Joshua Jortner, x8322
Fall 2011 Schedule

For more information or for directions to Melamed Hall please contact:
Chava Balson  03-6408636

To suggest potential speakers or register feedback contact: Ron Lifshitz  03-6405145.

Sponsored by:   The Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics & Astronomy, The Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University.