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Cornell University

Laboratory of Plasma Studies

Understanding characteristics of plasmas, from microscopic to macroscopic scales

Colloquium on Plasma Science & Applications

The Colloquium on Plasma Science & Applications brings leaders in the field of plasma science to Cornell to discuss their work and engage in dialog with students, faculty, and staff.

Thursdays 4:15–5:30 p.m.
Reception 3:45–4:15 p.m.

February 29

The Plasma Physics of Coherent High-Power Electromagnetic (HPEM) Sources

John Luginsland, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Program Officer for High-energy Radiation Matter Systems (HERMeS)

High-power sources of coherent electromagnetic energy over frequencies ranging from the high-frequency (HF) to the sub-teraHertz bands have a variety of applications in both national security and scientific avenues from ionospheric heaters, fusion device heaters, radars, remote sensing, communications, electronic warfare, and directed energy. This talk will discuss the technology of pulsed power, cathodes, and intense relativistic electron beams (IREB) and the beam wave interaction of IREB with high-power, nonlinear electromagnetic fields for next-generation high-power electromagnetic (HPEM) devices.

Host: Genady Shvets

About the speaker: Dr. John W. Luginsland is a principle physical scientist at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AROSR) in Arlington, Virginia, and also serves as the program officer for High Energy Radiation-Matter Systems. Previously, he also was the acting branch chief for the Physical and Biological Sciences Branch in 2022. He chairs the Directed Energy Working Group at AFOSR, and is a member of AFOSR’s Chief Scientist Technical Advisory Committee. He has extensive previous experience in government service, working in various roles since 2009 for AFOSR SAF/AQR, and the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate. Dr. Luginsland has industrial experience at Confluent Sciences, LLC, NumerEx, LLC, and Science Applications International Corporation as well as academic experience as a professor at Michigan State University in the Departments of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Additionally, he was an elected Chair of the IEEE’s Plasma Science and Applications Committee, a past member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group (ISTEG), and served as co-chair on a National Academy consensus study “Powering the Army of the Future.” He is a fellow of the IEEE and the Air Force Research Laboratory, and received the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society’s Early Achievement Award. He received his Ph.D., MSE, and BSE from the University of Michigan in Nuclear Engineering.

Location: 701 Clark Hall

March 14

Proton Fast Ignition: High Gain Inertial Confinement Fusion Scheme

Farhat Beg, Professor and Director of the Center for Energy Research (UCSD)

Location: 700 Clark Hall

March 28

Broadband OPA technology for ultrashort and
incoherent laser pulses

Jonathan Zugel, Laser and Materials Technology Division Director, a Distinguished Scientist
at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, and a Professor of Optics at the
Institute of Optics, University of Rochester

Dr. Zuegel will provide an overview of optical parametric amplification (OPA) technology for producing ultrashort or incoherent laser pulses used for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and high-energy density (HED) research. Broadband OPAs support femtosecond laser pulses that can be used to probe ICF/HED experimental conditions, either directly or using laser-driven secondary radiation sources, such as high-energy particles (electrons, ions) or photons (ranging from THz to gamma rays). OPAs configured to amplify incoherent waves promise an approach to overcome laser-plasma instabilities and degrade laser-driven ICF/HED experiments. The seminar will introduce the technologies associated with both applications, and envision promising future applications, including 100-PW class laser systems for basic research and MJ-class lasers for inertial fusion energy.

Host: Genady Shvets

About the speaker: Professor Jonathan D. Zuegel serves as the Laser and Materials Technology Division Director, a Distinguished Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), and a Professor of Optics at the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester. Zuegel led the Laser Development and Engineering Division from 2014–2019 and the Laser Technology Development Group from 2001–2014. He is a Fellow of Optica (formerly OSA) and serves/has served in numerous capacities of conferences (CLEO, ICUIL, Optica topical meetings) and international advisory committees. He joined LLE in 1996 after receiving his Ph.D. in Optics from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. He received degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University (B.S. ’83 and M. Eng. ’84) and served in the U.S. Navy in the Department of Energy, Division of Naval Reactors. He has authored or co-authored more than 130 papers and 270 conference presentations.

Location: 401 Physical Sciences


April 18

The Science and Technology of High Peak Power Lasers and their Applications to Inertial Fusion Energy Research

Todd Ditmire, Director of the Center for High Energy-Density Science (CHEDS), and Professor of Physics at the University of Texas

The invention of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which was the subject of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, has revolutionized high peak power, ultrafast lasers. CPA has made possible construction of lasers with peak power up to 10 PW (1016 W). This presentation will discuss this technology and describe how it has been used in the Texas Petawatt Laser and the L4 10 PW laser built in Austin and delivered to the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) laboratory in Prague, and will then discuss inertial fusion energy (IFE) and will talk about how these high-power lasers can be employed in IFE research.

Host: Genady Shvets

About the speaker: Todd Ditmire is Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) where he directs the Center for High Energy Density Science and works on experimental studies of high intensity laser interactions with matter. In 2003 under Ditmire’s direction, UT was awarded one of four Stockpile Sciences Academic Alliance Centers of Excellence by the National Nuclear Security Administration, and was funded until 2017. Ditmire was also one of the founding members of the DOE’s LaserNetUS network. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1991 in physics and art history, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1995 from the Department of Applied Science, and conducted his Ph.D. research that focused on high-intensity laser technology and laser-plasma interactions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). After a two year post-doctoral fellowship at Imperial College in London, he returned to LLNL to join the staff in the National Ignition Facility directorate. In 2000, he joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in the Physics Department.
In 2010 Ditmire established National Energetics, Inc. a company devoted to constructing custom high-energy laser systems, and has been President and CEO since its establishment. In 2021 he co-founded Focused Energy Inc., a new company devoted to the commercialization of laser-driven fusion.

Location: 701 Clark Hall