(2 ECTS credits granted)


The Laser-Plasma Chair at USAL investigates Laser-Plasma Interaction (LPI) Physics related to the CLPU experimental activity. Experiments are performed at CLPU or abroad in collaboration with other internationally recognized scientific groups. 

Another goal of the Laser-Plasma chair at USAL  consists in forming young scientists in the field of High Power Lasers LPI and particle-radiation beams. Within this action, we present the 3rd course on laser-plasma processes dedicated to the state-of-the-art numerical methods used for relativistic LPI investigations.

LPI processes are said to be in the relativistic regime when the laser pulse intensity times the square of the laser pulse wavelength is greater than approximatively 1018 W/cmx microns2. Indeed, when such a high-power laser pulse is focused on matter, some electrons can be accelerated up to several times their rest mass energy mec2. These laser-generated relativistic electron beams are useful for several applications such as inertial confinement fusion, laboratory Astrophysics, proton acceleration, nuclear activation, X-ray/Gamma photons generation, kT magnetic fields generation among others.

Due to their complexity and their non-linear behaviour, highly parallelized numerical simulations are necessary to understand LPI processes in this regime. Depending on the current computer technology, kinetic codes, namely Particle-in-Cell (PIC) or Vlasov-Fokker-Planck (VFP) codes. However, today’s computer technology still limits the use of kinetic codes to a timescale lower than approximatively one ps. On longer timescales, fully parallelized hydrodynamic or hybrid kinetic-hydrodynamic plasma codes are rather used. Finally, Monte-Carlo codes also play an important role in plasma diagnostic design and X-ray photon, electron or ion transport in matter.

This course intends to give an overview of these three main simulation tools for LPI studies with practical hands-on sessions:

Prof. Luca Volpe. Director of the CLPU Laser-Plasma Chair @ USAL

Dr Michaël Touati. Senior scientist at the CLPU

Sophia Malko. Scientist at the CLPU

>  For any additional information contact Prof. Luca Volpe