News Archive

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.

Latest ELL Publication

Optics Letters published an article reporting on the ELL group's successful efforts in continuing to develop an all-optical Compton x-ray source. This recent advance used all-laser-driven Compton scattering with second harmonic light to generate 9 MeV gamma-rays. First author Dr. Cheng Liu explains that this result is important because it is the first time, based on published results, an all-laser-driven system generated energy sufficient to be relevant to nuclear research and applications. Read the article for full details on this novel approach. View the full list of ELL publications for results published previously that led to this recent development.

Diocles laser

New Publication Featured

We are pleased to announce a new publication in Nature Photonics! The article reports on our research team developing a new way to generate synchrotron x-rays using the Diocles laser. The UNL announcement offers background and insight into the project, and explains the significance of generating high-quality x-rays from a compact source. You can also view the preprint version here or browse all of our publications