Prof. Farhat Beg
Director, CER; Principal Investigator, HEDP Group UC San Diego
Laser-acceleration of energetic protons and fast ignition inertial confinement fusion
Ion acceleration by a high intensity (> 1018 W/cm2 ) laser pulse interacting with a solid target has been an active research area . The major interest stems from its use as a diagnostic tool in high energy density science  and its applications in inertial confinement fusion  and warm dense matter generation. We have carried out a series of experiments from mid-scale laser facilities — with energies 10-100s of joules and pulse lengths 10-100s of femtoseconds — to large scale facilities where energies exceed 1 kilojoule and pulse lengths vary between 1-10s of picoseconds. These experiments show that the proton energy scaling and conversion efficiency significantly varies with both laser energy and pulse length. Even with modest laser intensities of 1017- 1018 W/cm2 , the proton energies may significantly exceed those resulting from pondermotive scaling . Experimental data in conjunction with PIC modeling has helped to unravel new phenomena. These results have brought us closer to meeting some of the requirements (energy, spectrum and beam size) for proton fast ignition. However, some physics challenges still need to be addressed. A review of past and current work will be presented.
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Short bio below
Farhat Beg is a Professor of Engineering Physics at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London. His expertise is in the field of laser-plasma interaction, pulsed power-driven X- and Z-pinches, and neutron sources. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has been a winner of the Department of Junior Faculty Award (2005) and IEEE Early Career Award (2008). In 2021, he received the IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Award.