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Matter at Extreme Temperatures and Densities: Some New Opportunities

Felicie Albert, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:30am to 1:30am
PAT C-520
There is growing overlap between traditional condensed matter physics, planetary core astrophysics, and dense plasma physics, especially in the context of extreme conditions that can now be regularly produced in the laboratory. High Energy Density (HED) science laser and free electron laser facilities such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), OMEGA, or the National Ignition Facility are now uniquely able to recreate in the laboratory conditions of temperature and pressure that were thought to be only attainable in the interiors of stars and planets. In this seminar I'll address two related issues.

First, I'll summarize my ongoing work to develop ultra-short x-ray pulses with betatron radiation generated from laser-wakefield acceleration. This part of the presentation will focus on the experimental challenges and results related to the development of betatron radiation for applications at large scale HED science laser facilities.

Second, I'll report on recent studies at the LCLS aimed at better understanding electron-ion equilibriation on sub-ps time scales. In these studies, extremely high temperature matter is created with a laser-shock mechanism or by heating with the x-ray free electron laser itself, and then the betatron x-ray pulse is used to evaluate the resulting changes in electronic structure. ​​