Petawatt Class Lasers Worldwide and Future Directions

Wednesday 30 May 2018, 11.00AM

Speaker: Colin Danson


The use of ultra-high intensity laser beams to achieve extreme material states in the laboratory has become almost routine with the development of the petawatt laser. Petawatt class lasers have been constructed for specific research activities including: particle acceleration; Inertial Confinement Fusion; radiation therapy and for secondary source generation (X-rays, electrons, protons, neutrons and ions). They are also now routinely coupled, and synchronized to, other large scale facilities including: mega-joule scale lasers; ion and electron accelerators; X-ray sources; and z-pinches. The field has moved on a long way since the first Petawatt class laser at LLNL in 1998 with over 50 petawatt class lasers currently operational, under construction or in the planning phase. This talk provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of petawatt class lasers worldwide and details plans for future facilities to move in to the applications arena with higher rep rates, higher powers and a shift towards mid-infrared wavelengths.

Colin Danson is an AWE Distinguished Scientist and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and holds visiting positions at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. He acted as Senior Project Manager to commission the Orion laser facility and spent much of his career working on VULCAN within the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Colin is the Co-Chief Editor of the international journal High Power Laser Science and Engineering. In his current role he acts as Head of Profession for Physics & Mathematics and Physics Outreach & Orion Academic Access Manager.

Location: P/L 002