Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs
Towards Compact Accelerators Frontiers in Laser Plasma Based Particle Acceleration
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11:00:00 AM
Dr. Chaitanya S Deo
Since the innovation of chirped pulse amplification by Donna Strickland and Gerard Morou in 1985 for which the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 2018, laser technology has evolved such that we can create exceedingly short pulses of light 10 12 seconds with extremely high powers 1015 Watts in small focused spots a few microns. A prolific area of research that has emerged over the last two decades is the use of these high intensity lasers to drive particle beams. In contrast to traditional particle accelerators, laser plasma based accelerators can create accelerating electric fields to drive particles in a few cm rather than many kilometers. Possible applications of these compact and deployable laser driven particle accelerators include isotope production for medical and national security applications, proton therapy for cancer research, studies in material structure and fusion. However, to realize laser driven particle sources for such applications, extensive characterization, optimization, and understanding of this technology is necessary. This seminar details recent experiments at the TITAN laser at the Jupiter Laser Facility, investigating the scaling physics of these particles as a function of varying laser parameters in the multi ps regime, demonstration of efficient acceleration due to long timescale effects and discussion of next steps using machine learning tools to improve laser plasma acceleration.
Raspberry Simpson is a PhD Candidate in the Nuclear Science and Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a member of the High Intensity Laser Science Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where her graduate work focuses on the characterization and development of laser driven particle beams. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Raspberry worked in the Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico developing neutron imaging diagnostics for inertial confinement fusion experiments and electron radiography for material science studies. She received her undergraduate degree at Columbia University in Applied Physics and is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and NNSA Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship.