Center for High Energy Density Science:: Research


High Intensity Laser Science

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Research in the High Intensity Laser Science Group is aimed at the study of the interaction of ultraintense light with matter.

Focused light intensity of over 1019 W/cm2 is possible with the table-top multi-terawatt lasers we use. These lasers are based on the concept of chirped pulse amplification. Intensity of up to 1022 W/cm2 will be possible with the Texas Petawatt Laser.

With these lasers, we create matter under very extreme conditions and study their properties.

This research group is led by Professor Todd Ditmire

Research Areas 



Our main source of funding comes from Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration.  The Texas Center for High Intensity Laser Science (CHEDS) is a NNSA Center of Excellence.

Other funding comes from:

NSF LogoNSF Logo           DOE Logo        Sandia Logo        LANL Logo        DARPA Logo        AFOSR Logo


What is this?

This is a picture of the simulated distribution of second harmonic light from a small, 1mm polystyrene sphere irradiated by 1064 mm laser light.

The second harmonic light is emitted from the sphere, which is located at the center of distribution, because of the nonlinear dipole induced from the intense laser light.

For more information on this calculation, click here.

What is this?

This is a picture of nuclear fusion plasma created by focusing an intense, 35 fs laser pulse into a gas of deuterium clusters.

The deuterium clusters are formed by a gas jet. The jet is emitted from the metal cylinder in the center, the laser enters from the right, and the spark is the fusion plasma.

For more information on this experiment, click here.

What is this?

This is a picture showing two of the pump lasers in the THOR laser system.

These lasers pump the final Ti:sapphire amplifier in THOR.

For more information on the THOR laser, click here.

What is this?

This is a picture showing part of laser chirped pulse amplification.

The use if two gratings to recompress a chirped pulse is illustrated here.

For more information on chirped pulse amplification, click here.

What is this?

This is a picture showing imaging data of cylindrical radiative shock wave in Xe gas. It was produced by the irradiation of a gas of Xe with a 35 fs laser.

A hot filament of gas exploding and the tube-like smooth shock front can be clearly seen.

For more information in this experiment, click here.