News Archive

Elizabeth Laskowski working in the lab

Undergraduate student introduced to the "beautiful world of optics"

Elizabeth Laskowski, a junior from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, spent her summer at ELL learning about optical techniques used to measure the density profile for gasses and plasmas. In 2016, Laskowski toured ELL as an attendee of the UNL Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences (WoPhyS), and this sparked her interest in conducting a summer research project at ELL. Her summer research project, funded through the Nebraska EPSCoR REU program, contributed to the larger goal of the lab, which is to measure the plasma density profile in real time with femtosecond and micron resolution. Describing her experience, Laskowski said, "Working at ELL ... introduced me to the beautiful world of optics and high-intensity laser physics. It opened the door to a lot of opportunities and I could not be happier with my experience at ELL." Given Laskowski's exemplary research effort, Prof. Umstadter nominated her to be a featured student speaker at WoPhyS 2017. We look forward to Laskowski's talk in November!

Yan et al., "High-order multiphoton Thomson scattering," featured on the cover of  Nature Photonics 11 (8) (2017).

Bright light leads to Nature Photonics publication

Congratulations to post-doctoral fellow and first-author, Wenchao Yan, and the ELL research team on their recent publication featured on the cover of the August 2017 issue of the journal Nature Photonics.  The research explores high-order multiphoton Thomson scattering, where hundreds of discrete photons are simultaneously scattered from individual electrons. Evidence for the highly nonlinear electron motion is seen from the spatial profiles of the x-ray beams, which became elongated along the direction of laser polarization as the strength of the light fields increased and the electron’s figure-8 orbit became more pronounced. To achieve the requisite light intensity, an ultra-powerful laser was focused to 10^20 times higher than that of sunlight on Earth.

Artistic impression of light scattering

The Naked Scientists interview with Dr. Umstadter

With the latest ELL research published in Nature Photonics, The Naked Scientists interviewed Dr. Umstadter to learn more about these results and the impact on future research opportunities, including opening new doors in the healthcare field. 

2015 REU students

2017 REU Opportunity

Now accepting applications from undergraduate students interested in spending the summer of 2017 at the Extreme Light Laboratory. The research will involve the use of DIOCLES, an ultra-high-intensity laser system, and learning about the field of ultrafast science. 

Specific projects will be determined by matching student interest and experience with current laboratory experiments. A previous student described the summer as "very positive and educational,"  and another said, "it was a great learning experience throughout [the summer] working with a class IV laser.

To apply for the REU position, you will need to follow the steps as indicted on the REU website. The atomic, molecular, and optical physics REU program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Nebraska EPSCoR program.

Lucas Heppner: Summer Research Program

Lucas Heppner was part of the 2016 Summer Research Program, where he worked on the project "A study of sensitive, large area detection systems for keV to MeV energy X-rays."

Full Story Here

Image captured of bullet piercing apple.

Study shines new light on electrons

It is not easy to follow an electron beam, travelling at the speed of light, while being ultra-small, ultra-short, and ultra-dense. As explained in Scientific Reports, ELL physicists used an ultra-intense laser pulse as a virtual electron detector. UNL Today compares the problem and solution to innovations used to capture images in photography.

Shouyuan Chen, UNL research assistant professor of physics and astronomy, shows a uranium disk and steel casing. An X-ray laser successfully imaged the uranium hidden within the casing.

Novel X-ray method using Diocles could detect nuclear materials

Physicists at the Diocles Extreme Light Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have demonstrated that their unconventional laser-based X-ray machine could provide a new defense against nuclear terrorism. Read the full story here.

Cover of 2016 Contemporary Physics with 4 images including one with the Diocles laser system.

Contemporary Physics Publication

One of four articles (originally published online during 2015) to be selected for the annual (2016) print cover of Contemporary Physics. This overview published in Contemporary Physics discusses the development of a new generation of accelerator-based hard X-ray sources driven exclusively by laser light.

Front end of the Archimedes laser system

RFP for laser light

The Extreme Light Core Facility (ELCF) is a core research facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) designed to provide cutting-edge technology to NU researchers from a range of disciplines including engineering, physics, medicine, etc.
ELCF announces a new program to provide access to the novel capabilities of ultra-short pulses of high-peak power laser light. The opportunity to initiate preliminary experiments and collect foundational data can serve as the basis for future research proposals for federal funding. Learn more about the program and find application details in the RFP.

UNL Research Report available

The Extreme Light Laboratory was featured as the cover story in the 2013-2014 UNL Research Report, which is available on the web. The website features all the stories and art featured in the print version plus selected videos, additional photos and links to other information.

The 2013-2014 Research Report is also available in PDF format.