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This Week at Physics

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Events on Monday, November 24th, 2014

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Progress on the generation and application of ion beams driven by high-intensity short-pulse lasers
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 514 ERB
Speaker: Brian Albright, LANL
Abstract: The recent development of high-power, short-pulse laser systems has led to considerable interest in nonlinear, relativistic, laser-plasma-interaction physics. Electrons within laser beams whose intensities exceed 1018 W/cm2 for micron-wavelength light experience very dramatic acceleration, reaching speeds approaching c in a single laser cycle. This can lead to exotic plasma behavior, such as the state of relativistic induced transparency (RIT) where an intense laser beam penetrates into plasma whose density exceeds the classical critical density for the laser. RIT leads to volumetric (as opposed to skin-depth-layer) interaction of a laser beam with dense plasma, enabling highly efficient laser-plasma coupling and, consequently, the possibility of novel, compact, laser-based ion accelerators.<br>
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Laser-based ion acceleration using RIT conditions has been demonstrated on multiple laser systems around the world and shown to produce some of the largest electric fields ever achieved—as high as several tens of TV/m, or over ten million times that of conventional accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider. Such laser-based ion accelerators have the potential for a variety of applications, including fast-ignition inertial fusion, hadron therapy of tumors, active interrogation of shipping containers, and the creation and probing of warm dense matter. In this presentation, recent progress on the generation and application of these ion beams at the LANL Trident Laser Facility will be discussed, including the development of brilliant, laser-based neutron sources and the study of the properties of dense plasma media. Also, as 100 PW laser systems are anticipated in the coming decades, new physics frontiers enabled by these lasers, such as direct probing of quantum electrodynamics, will also be discussed.<br>
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Work supported by the LANL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program<br>
Host: CPTC
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Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
    http://cmb.physics.wisc.edu/journal/index.html
Please feel free to bring your lunch!
If you have questions or comments about this journal club, would like to propose a topic or volunteer to introduce a paper, please email Le Zhang (lzhang263@wisc.edu)
Host: Peter Timbie
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Astronomy Colloquium
SPECIAL MONDAY TALK
"The fall of disks and the raise of bulges through cosmic time"
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421
Speaker: Marcella Carollo, ETH, Zurich
Abstract: After so many decades from the discovery of the Hubble sequence, the question of when and how massive spheroids emerge in our Universe is still open and fascinating. I will discuss the implications of new studies in the 0 < z < 2 window, which shade new light on our understanding of the co-evolution of bulges and disks through cosmic time.
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Council Meeting
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin (Chair's Conference Room)
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