News Archive

Artists impression of two colliding laser-driven plasma wakefields

Colliding relativistic plasma waves advances tabletop electron accelerators

Congratulations to research scientist and first-author, Grigory Golovin, and the ELL research team on their recent publication in PRL.  The research explores novel mechanisms, predicted by Donald Umstadter a few decades ago, of controlled electron injection into a laser-driven plasma wake to improve the performance of laser-wakefield accelerators. By using an independent ultra-intense laser pulse to initiate the injection process, researchers achieved control over the initial position of the accelerated electrons, which allowed for minimization of final energy spread and increase in the charge of the electron beams. Such results could open doorways to improvements of tabletop electron accelerators. The results were also featured in UNL Today.

Picture of all LaserNet US Attendees

Extreme light Laboratory hosts first historical LaserNetUS Meeting

 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Extreme Light Laboratory hosted the first annual LaserNet US Meeting on August 20th-21st, 2018.  LaserNet US is a collaboration between six academic and two national laboratory high-intensity laser facility in the United States.  Department of Energy Office of Science spearheaded the program in response to the National Academy of Sciences Report “Reaching for the Brightest light,” which accessed the need for US action for high-intensity lasers research. LaserNet US  aims to meet the recommendations by the NAS report by establishing the infrastructure and accessibility of midscale laser facilities across the country with high-field lasers, matter, and plasma research and development. LaserNet US currently entails the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Michigan, University of Texas-Austin, The Ohio State University, Colorado State University, University of Rochester, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and Stanford Linear Accelerator.  

 

Laser apparatus

Extreme Light Lab hosts Sunday with a Scientist

The Extreme Light Laboratory taught kids about laser and light with a laser-filled weekend at Sunday with a Scientist. The event was hosted by the University of Nebraska State Museum, and was held in conjunction with special laser-themed shows by Mueller Planetarium. A recap of the event can be found on the State Museum's website. The event was also featured in Nebraska Today.

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!

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. 

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.

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.

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