(From left) Laser engineer Lauren Weinberg, research scientist John Nees and research engineer Galina Kalinchenko pose for photos while working on the ZEUS laser at the NSF ZEUS laser facility in a Michigan Engineering lab.
Once completed, the ZEUS laser system will be the highest-power laser system in the US and will be among the highest-power lasers worldwide for the next decade.
The name ZEUS (Zettawatt-Equivalent Ultrashort pulse laser System) refers to the interaction of a PetaWatt laser pulse colliding with a GeV energy electron beam that can be generated by one of its two beamlines. This geometry provides the equivalent of a “Zettawatt” power laser interaction (1021 Watts) in the rest frame of the electron beam. It will consequently allow exploration of fundamental yet unanswered questions regarding non-linear quantum electrodynamics in relativistic plasmas, including quantum radiation reaction and electron-positron pair production mechanisms.
Further experiments enabled by this facility will include pump-probe experiments using femtosecond x-rays as a probe of material dynamics on ultra-short timescales, the production of GeV ion beams, the generation of instabilities in electron-positron jets, the exploration of vacuum polarization effects, relativistic astrophysical shocks, and the production of pions and muons.
Friday, September 2, 2022
Photo by Marcin Szczepanski/Lead Multimedia Storyteller, University of Michigan College of Engineering
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