100 researchers from 29 universities and laboratories and 4 countries gathered at LLE for the first Omega Laser Facility Users Group (OLUG) workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate communication and exchanges among the individual users and between users and LLE; to present on-going and proposed research; to encourage research opportunities and collaborations that could be undertaken at the Omega Laser Facility and in a complementary fashion at other facilities (such as at LULI or NIF); and to provide an opportunity for students and post-doctoral fellows to present their research that relates to the Omega Facility in a congenial and interactive atmosphere. The spirited and lively interactions that prevailed are well represented in the photographs taken at the workshop.
To set the tone for the workshop, the first two mornings were comprised of science and facility presentations. The facility talks proved especially useful for those not intimately familiar with the art and complexities of performing experiments at the Omega Laser Facility. The 6 overview science talks, given by leading world scientific authorities, described the breadth and excitement of high-energy-density science, both present and future, that has and can be undertaken at the Omega Laser Facility. The final overview talk concerned the role and importance of science to the NNSA mission.
32 students and post-doctoral fellows, 27 of whom were supported by travel grants from NNSA, attended the workshop and presented 31 of the 48 contributed poster and oral presentations. Their content ran the gamut from target fabrication to simulating important aspects of supernovae. Regardless of the subject, the presentations garnered spritied discussions, probing questions, and friendly suggestions. In addition, 17 excellent contributed presentations were made by professional scientists and academics.
An important practical function of the workshop was to develop a set of recommendations and findings to help set future priorities of the OMEGA Laser Facility. These findings were grouped into 5 areas: 60-beam OMEGA, OMEGA EP, General User Issues, Information flow, and Broader Issues. These categories comprise a report given to Omega Facility management. The management then responded to the report, and will use it as a guide for making decisions about Omega Laser Facility operations.
In this same vein, another highlight of the workshop was the post-doctoral student panel that discussed their experiences at the Omega Laser Facility and their thoughts and recommendations about how things could be improved. Wide-ranging and engaging discussions were sparked by this forum, the results of which are contained in the student/postdoctoral report. Concise, coherent, and insightful, this report is well worth our careful attention.
We look forward to your participation in the next 2-day OLUG workshop, to be held 29–30 April 2010. Initial planning is already underway, so please join us with your ideas, suggestions, and enthusiasm in making this next workshop an enjoyable and significant event for all participants—students, postdocs, and high-energy-density scientists alike.