Frederico Fiuza (SIMES Friday Seminar)

Date(s) - Mar 14 2014
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Shasta Room, Bldg 40, Room 361


Federico Fiuza

Lawrence Fellow, Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Particle acceleration in laser-driven collisionless shocks

Collisionless shocks are pervasive in astrophysical plasmas and are known to be efficient particle accelerators; however, the microphysics underlying shock formation and particle acceleration is not yet fully understood. The fast progress in laser technology is bringing the study of high-velocity collisionless shocks into the realm of laboratory plasmas. We are using particle-in-cell simulations to explore the detailed kinetic physics associated with laser-driven shocks and to identify the optimal laboratory conditions to study particle acceleration. I will show that by controlling the laser and plasma parameters it is possible to control the electrostatic/electromagnetic nature of the shocks and the acceleration mechanisms, from Fermi-like processes, which are relevant in astrophysics, to the generation of high-quality ion beams for radiotherapy. I will also discuss the role that the MEC station can play in exploring this physics for the first time.