Dr. Follett is a scientist in the plasma theory group at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). He received his B.S. degree in Physics from Colorado State University and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the University of Rochester. After finishing his Ph.D. in 2015, he had a two-year appointment as a research associate at the LLE and then took a scientist position in 2017.
Dr. Follett ran experiments at the Omega laser facility looking at two-plasmon–decay (TPD)-driven plasma waves using optical Thomson scattering for his thesis work. This led to a collaboration with the plasma theory group in developing the LPSE (laser-plasma simulation environment) code for simulating laser–plasma interactions. He has applied LPSE to a number of important problems for the development of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) including multibeam TPD-driven hot-electron generation and cross-beam energy transfer (CBET). This work has led to improvements in the ray-based CBET models that are used in ICF simulations and mitigation strategies for the TPD instability using different target ablator materials and laser wavelength detuning. He also has an interest in simulating and analyzing thermal Thomson-scattering spectra and is involved in collaborations with several outside institutions on laboratory astrophysics projects that rely on these techniques for measuring plasma conditions.