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.