Fundamental Physics Opportunities with Multi-PetaWatt- and Multi-MegaJoule-class Facilities
22-02-2024 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
In my talk, I will present some recent highlights from my research group in the Clarendon Laboratory, obtained working in partnership with many outstanding international collaborators. These fall under the three broad themes. The first is novel laser-plasma interactions, which include those resulting from twisted light, ionisation injection for laser- and beam-driven wakefield accelerators, along with frequency domain holographic and compressive sensing diagnostic developments4 relevant to future colliders. The second theme is that of extreme field physics using multi-petawatt laser facilities. These include first principles ionisation processes, absorption processes and ultra-bright attosecond-duration X-rays from high harmonic generation, photon-photon scattering in the non-linear QED regime and, most recently, gravitational wave generation using petawatt- and/or megaJoule-class facilities. We are now extending these studies to those of gravity-wave detection, with promising preliminary results. The third theme is that of inertial fusion studies. All of these studies indicate that an international, dual-use, 20-MJ ICF/IFE facility, with the first 2-MJ at high repetition rate supplying single-shot high energy amplifiers, will open many new exciting avenues for both fundamental physics and high energy density science in the decades ahead.