More than 115 researchers from 44 universities and laboratories and 9 countries gathered at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) for the second Omega Laser Facility Users Group (OLUG) workshop. The purpose of the three-day workshop was to facilitate communications and exchanges among individual OMEGA 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 the National Ignition Facility (NIF) or the Laboratoire pour l'Utilisation des Lasers Intenses (LULI)]; to provide an opportunity for students and post-doctoral fellows to present their research at LLE in an interactive and informal atmosphere; and to provide feedback to LLE about ways to improve the facility and future experimental campaigns. The interactions were stimulating and lively, as can be seen in the photographs taken at the workshop. There are 190 members in the OMEGA Users Group.
During the first two mornings of the workshop, 17 science and facility talks were presented. The facility talks proved especially useful for those not familiar with the art and complexities of performing experiments on OMEGA. The overview science talks, given by leading world authorities, described the breadth and excitement of high-energy-density (HED) science undertaken at the Omega Laser Facility. The next section of this document contains a summary of the presentations.
A total of 45 students and postdoctoral fellows, 37 of whom were supported by travel grants from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), attended the workshop and presented 31 of the 59 contributed poster and oral presentations. The presentations ranged from target fabrication to simulating important aspects of supernovae, all of which generated spirited discussions, probing questions, and many suggestions. In total there were 76 presentations, including both invited and contributed.
An important function of the workshop was to develop a set of recommendations and findings to help set future priorities for the Omega Laser Facility. These findings were grouped into three areas—60-beam OMEGA, OMEGA EP, and broader facility-improvement issues—and comprise a report given to the management of the Omega Facility. The management then responded to the report. LLE management is using these recommendations as a guide for making decisions about the Omega Laser Facility operations, priorities, and future changes.
One highlight of the workshop was a panel of students and postdoctoral fellows who discussed their experiences at the facility and their thoughts and recommendations on facility improvements. Wide-ranging and engaging discussions were sparked by this forum, which resulted in the student/postdoctoral report.
Another important event was a job fair designed to bring students together with potential future employers. This fair will be expanded at the next workshop.
Finally, one of the important decisions made at the workshop was to schedule the next one, which will be held at LLE on 27–29 April 2011. During their meetings, the Users Group and interested members of the HED community are formulating plans for this third workshop and reviewing progress on the Findings and Recommendations of the second workshop. In the future, a semiannual meeting will always take place at a satellite meeting during the fall American Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics Conference.