Professor Moshe J. Lubin

Lubin Initiates Laser–copy

Pre-1970:

University of Rochester Assistant Professor Moshe J. Lubin initiates laser-matter interaction studies using ruby, and Nd:glass lasers. Eastman Kodak Company abandons their medical laser line and Lubin obtains surplus Kodak lasers and electronics.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, and Preservation, University of Rochester Libraries

Professor Moshe J. Lubin

 

10,000th Shot on the Multi-Terawatt Laser

2020:

On May 26, 2020 the Multi-Terawatt (MTW) Laser operational team celebrated their 10,000th laser shot. The first shot on the MTW laser, a midscale system built initially as the prototype front end for OMEGA EP, was taken in 2004. Since that time, a compression chamber along with three target chambers have been added, the maximum energy was increased, and the temporal contrast improved, making MTW a complete facility for plasma-physics research, laser technology development, and target diagnostic development. External and internal users have carried out 535 campaigns on MTW, using pulse durations from 500 fs to 2.8 ns, energies up to 120 J, and wavelengths centered at 1053 nm or 2~, 4~, and 5~ harmonics. The milestone shot was taken in support of an external campaign for L3Harris Technologies (L3H), a global aerospace and defense technology company with local roots. Two-color, laser-shearing interferometry (see inset) is used to infer spatially resolved density profiles within the ablation plume and to monitor plasma expansion into a low-density background gas. The inset image was taken during the 10,000th shot.

Collin Stillman, L3H Scientist and LLE Ph.D. graduate, standing next to the MTW compression chamber, overlooking the target chamber. In the background is Ildar Begishev, MTW Shot Director and LLE Research Engineer.

 

Collin Stillman, L3H Scientist and LLE Ph.D. graduate, standing next to the MTW compression chamber, overlooking the target chamber. In the background is Ildar Begishev, MTW Shot Director and LLE Research Engineer.

 

OMEGA EP Firing Five Beams

LaserNetUS Receives $18 Million from the U.S. Department of Energy

2020:

LaserNetUS, a network of facilities operating ultra-powerful lasers, including the Omega Laser Facility, received $18 million in funding from the Department of Energy. In its first year of user operations, LaserNetUS awarded beamtime for 49 user experiments to researchers from 25 different institutions. Over 200 user scientists including well over 100 students and post-docs have participated in experiments so far.  The network and future upgrades to LaserNetUS facilities will provide new opportunities for U.S. and international scientists in discovery science and in the development of new technologies.

OMEGA EP Firing Five Beams
Seen in the upper left are four beamlines of OMEGA EP firing during a target shot. Riding along with those four beamlines is the 4-omega probe illuminated in its housing in the lower right and next to the grating compressor chamber. The green irradiation stems from the frequency conversion of the primary infrared beam to the second harmonic or 527 nm. Remotely triggered, the image was captured from the top of the target area structure with no bay lights on.
Schematic of the chromatic focusing system coupled to a spectrally chirped laser pulse

Patent for LLE Technology Awarded

2020:

A patent was awarded for “System and Methods for Spatiotemporal Control of a Laser and Laser-Plasma Applications that Require Velocity Matching,” by LLE’s Plasma and Ultrafast Physics Group Leader, Dustin Froula, and Optical and Imaging Sciences Group Leader, Terry Kessler.

D. H. Froula and T. J. Kessler, “Systems and Methods for Spatiotemporal Control of a Laser and Applications of Same,” U.S. Patent No. 10,897,115 B2 (19 January 2021).

Schematic of the chromatic focusing system coupled to a spectrally chirped laser pulse
Schematic of the chromatic focusing system coupled to a spectrally chirped laser pulse.
Artist interpretation of exoplanet formations

The Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures Funded by the National Science Foundation

2020:

The Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures (CMAP) was awarded $12.96 million toward research focusing on understanding the physics and astrophysical implications of matter under pressures so high that the structure of individual atoms is disrupted. The Principal Investigator is Rip Collins, University of Rochester Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physics and LLE’s Associate Director for Academics, Science, and Technology. The program will be hosted at the University of Rochester in collaboration with researchers from MIT, Princeton, the Universities of California at Berkeley and Davis, the University at Buffalo, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This is the first major initiative from the National Science Foundation in the field of high-energy-density science, and the research will help discover the nature of planets and stars throughout the universe, as well as the potential for new revolutionary states of matter here on Earth.

Artist interpretation of exoplanet formations
Illustration by Michael Franchot
OMEGA and OMEGA EP control rooms

Remote Principal Investigator (PI): Bringing the Omega Laser Facility to the PI

2020:

To adapt to social distancing, travel restrictions, and other safety measures necessitated by the COVID-19 global pandemic, Omega Operations and the LLE Information Technology (IT) Group collaborated to develop a new protocol that enables principal investigators (PI’s) to safely and effectively conduct laser experiments via remote access. Users need only a device and internet connection to participate. The remotePI option has proven to be an efficient tool that has delivered significant operational and economic advantages. These adaptations resulted in many requests from investigators to continue the venue of remotePI post-pandemic restrictions, allowing investigators the option of remaining at their home institutions rather than travelling long distances and permitting more collaborators to participate in the experiments remotely.

OMEGA and OMEGA EP control rooms
Shown are the control rooms of the OMEGA (top) and OMEGA EP (bottom) Laser Systems operating under remotePI. The shot director in each case is in touch with the remote PI during a shot campaign.
Dawson Award recipients

Research Conducted at Omega Wins Dawson Award

2019:

Research conducted at the Omega Laser Facility by the University of Chicago, University of Oxford, and LLE won the prestigious John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society. The award is in recognition of “innovative experiments that demonstrate turbulent dynamo in the laboratory, establishing laboratory experiments as a component in the study of turbulent magnetized plasmas, and opening a new path to laboratory investigations of other astrophysical processes.” The recipients include Donald Lamb and Petros Tzeferacos (University of Chicago, Flash Center for Computational Science), Dustin Froula (University of Rochester, Laboratory for Laser Energetics), Alexander Schekochihin (not pictured) and Gianluca Gregori (University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory).

Dawson Award Winners
Award recipients and their research team

Evidence of Superionic Water Published in Nature

2019:

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used the Omega Laser Facility to flash freeze water into an exotic water ice phase. Using x-ray diffraction, the superionic ice???s atomic structure was able to be directly identified for the first time. This research may give more insight into the interior structures of giant planets in our galaxy. The scientists used the powder x-ray diffraction image plate (PXRDIP) to record the data from the OMEGA experiments. PXRDIP allows the measurements of x-ray diffraction patterns of dynamically compressed materials in situ. This enabled characterization of the evolution of the atomic structure under high pressure, temperature, and strain rate. The research was performed as part of the Omega’s Laboratory Basic Science program at LLE.

M. Millot et al.,Nature 569, 2512019

Powder x-ray diffraction image plate (PXRDIP)

First LaserNetUS Experiment at LLE

2019:

As part of the new LaserNetUS program to provide users increased access to unique high-intensity laser facilities, scientists from Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, and Los Alamos National Laboratory performed the program’s first experiments using the OMEGA EP Laser System on 20 November 2019. In addition to the University of Rochester, accessible network facilities include The University of Texas at Austin, The Ohio State University, Colorado State University, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, SLAC, Berkeley Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Canada’s Université du Québec. LaserNetUS was established by DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences in response to the 2018 National Academy of Sciences’ Report with regard to the U.S. strategy in high-intensity laser research.

The LLE support team and visiting experimenters

Second Line-of-Sight Project

2019:

Two new neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers were designed and constructed along a clear line of sight to the OMEGA target chamber. These diagnostics measure several key experimental parameters that are essential to diagnosing the performance of cryogenic DT implosions. The data collected are used to diagnose and characterize the extent of the asymmetric compression of hot spots in OMEGA implosions.

Two nTOF spectrometers, shown in the foreground, are positioned about 22 m from the OMEGA target chamber center