T. Craig Sangster

Experimental Division Director

Dr. T. Craig Sangster is the Experimental Division Director at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. The scientists, engineers, and technicians in the division conduct hundreds of experiments per year at the Omega Laser Facility and collaborate with academic partners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the State University of New York at Geneseo, the University of Michigan, and the University of Nevada Reno. The experimental program spans a broad range of high-energy-density physics with a particular focus on the demonstration of net fusion energy (a key step toward a fusion-energy-based future). The Experimental Division has world-leading capabilities for the development of complex laser-target physics platforms and advanced diagnostic instrumentation, as well as the development of novel optical and imaging capabilities that enable the scientists to push the limits of what can be measured with laser-driven target-physics experiments. Additionally, the Division partners with General Atomics to develop and field the complex targets required for these experiments; these targets rely on advanced materials, cryogenics, and precision fabrication techniques.

Dr. Sangster joined the Laboratory in 2001 as the Omega Experiments Group Leader. From 1986 to 2001, Dr. Sangster was a staff scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where he was a founding member of the PHENIX collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (quark-gluon plasma science), the head of the Nuclear Diagnostics Group within the Inertial Confinement Fusion program and the Experimental Group Leader within the Heavy Ion Fusion program. Highlights of his research at LLNL include the development of the Central Drift Chambers for the PHENIX detector, the observation of collective nuclear flow in relativistic heavy ion reactions, nuclear reaction measurements from the first petawatt laser–matter interaction experiments, the development and construction of a circular ion induction accelerator, and the design and construction of a high-current 500-keV ion source test facility.

Dr. Sangster grew up in Texas and earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Baylor University in 1981. A particularly persuasive faculty member there encouraged him to attend graduate school rather than fly airplanes and he left the heat of Texas for the cornfields of Indiana to attend Purdue University, earning the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Physics Department in 1983 and 1986, respectively.

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