1) Introduction to high power lasers. Chirped pulse amplification.
2) Theory of laser plasma interaction: plasma description; linear waves; non-linear effects; parametric interaction; plasma optics.
3) Laser-plasma wakefield accelerators: underdense plasma; ponderomotive force; relativistic effects; laser self-guiding; laser depletion; plasma bubble formation; electron injection and acceleration; electron dephasing.
4) Radiation sources based on laser-plasma accelerators: terahertz single cycle pulses to brilliant gamma ray pulses; plasma as an optical amplifier.
5) High power laser pulse interactions with dense targets: Overview of laser-solid interactions; energy absorption mechanism; ion acceleration; sheath acceleration and radiation pressure acceleration; relativistic transparency; laser-driven shock waves.
6) High field effects: conservation of energy and the radiation reaction force; creation of electron-positron pairs from strong fields and colliding photons; nonlinear corrections to Maxwell’s equations and vacuum birefringence.

 Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of topics listed in syllabus and to apply that knowledge to related problems.

Link to course

Laser Driven Plasma Acceleration

Course contacts

Dino Jaroszynski
Paul McKenna
Bernhard Ersfled


22 sessions in timetable