The increase in available laser intensities has made it possible to produce table top electron accelerators, introduced new schemes for fusion energy production, and given rise to new medical applications. However, our theoretical understanding of laser-matter interactions in high-intensity regimes, as good as it is, rests to a large degree on the use of classical descriptions. It is estimated that these classical descriptions will break down for the next generation laser facilities. Analysing single particle problems acts as a testbed for some of the plasma physics problems, and also constitute their own field of research. In a plasma environment we expect new types of theory developments to be necessary. For example, the standard description of electrons in strong fields, via Volkov states, will need to be updated in order to account for the plasma effects generated by the laser. Thus, the dynamics of the plasma is governed by particle motion, radiation emission, non-classical processes, such as pair production, and collective dynamics. Given this background, the aim of this project is to study two main research problems: the development of single particle and plasma models in the strong field regime, where effects from perturbative quantum electrodynamic becomes prominent components of the plasma constituent's dynamics, and the numerical implementation of the above plasma models, with applications to high-intensity laser systems and astrophysical plasmas.
Professor vid Chalmers, Physics, Condensed Matter Theory
Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2020