• Electrostatic shocks generate magnetic fields

    In a paper recently published in Physical Review Letters, epp team researchers have demonstrated that in the downstream of electrostatic shocks the electron distribution function can be Weibel unstable and large amplitude magnetic fields are generated. These magnetic fields do not affect the shock dynamics but can modify the signatures usually considered for electrostatic shocks such as the radiation spectrum of the downstream particles. The paper can be found here

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  • EPP researchers awarded 25 Million CPU hours in one of the fastest super-computers in the world

    The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) awarded 25 Million core-hours to a EPP researchers team lead by T. Grismayer to explore in the laboratory pair-dominated plasmas under the presence of ultra-intense fields and mimicking extreme astrophysical scenarios resorting to the unprecedented power of future laser facilities. This proposal aims to exploit the unique computing facilities provided by PRACE to address these exciting challenges by leveraging on the recently pioneered advances on ab initio simulations of quantum electrodynamics (QED) effects in extreme plasmas with particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. Another key goal of this proposal is to investigate the radiation signatures in the Compton Regime, a regime that is not accessible with standard electromagnetic methods.

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  • Kevin Schoeffler joins epp team as postdoctoral fellow

    Kevin Schoeffler has joined our team as a post-doctoral fellow to work on magnetic field dynamics generated in conditions associated with intense laser-plasma interactions and on fundamental questions associated with magnetic reconnection resorting to massively parallel kinetic simulations.

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  • André Lopes joins epp team for MSc thesis

    André Lopes has joined the epp team for his MSc thesis at IST (MEFT). His thesis will be focused on the exploration of nonlinear processes in plasma metamaterials working in close collaboration with Paulo Alves.

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  • Paulo Alves awarded ENAA Outstanding Talk Prize


    Paulo Alves has been awarded the ENAA Outstanding Talk Prize at the “XXIV National Meeting of Astronomy and Astrophysics” organized by the Portuguese Society of Astronomy held in Porto (July 17-18, 2014). Paulo presented his latest results on large-scale magnetic field generation via electron-scale instabilities in unmagnetized shear flows.

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  • KHI on the cover of the Transactions for the SuperMUC Review Workshop

    A picture produced by Paulo Alves and Thomas Grismayer is featured on the cover of the Transactions for the SuperMUC Review Workshop which reports the main scientific achievements obtained with SuperMUC in the past year. A report by Jorge Vieira is also included in these transactions.
     

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  • PhD awarded to Elisabetta Boella


    On May 22, Elisabetta successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Ion acceleration driven by intense laser pulses” at Politecnico di Torino (dual degree with Doutoramento in Physics at IST). Many congratulations to Elisabetta!

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  • Positron acceleration in a doughnut plasma wave published in Physical Review Letters

    Theory and numerical simulations suggest that lasers can create doughnut plasma wakes for positron acceleration in compact plasma accelerators. One of the fundamental challenges for designing a plasma based linear collider is to accelerate positrons in non-linear plasma wakefields. Researchers have long considered that this regime, which can lead to very high accelerating fields, could not be used to accelerate positrons. Using particle-in-cell numerical simulations, EPP team member Jorge Vieira in collaboration with José Tito Mendonça from the Group for Lasers and Plasmas at IST, showed that lasers carrying angular orbital momentum excite doughnut shaped strongly non-linear plasma waves for high-energy positron acceleration. These results may then open the way for future designs of compact plasma based linear colliders in strongly non-linear regimes. More information can be found here.

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  • Suppression of plasma ion dynamics studied in paper published in Physics of Plasmas

    The largest plasma based acceleration experiment in the world has been approved at CERN. This experiment will use 0.5 TeV proton bunches to drive intense plasma waves capable to accelerate particles to high energies. One of the physical questions to be clarified is the role of the background ion motion. This work carried out by EPP team members Jorge Vieira, Ricardo Fonseca and Luís Silva, in collaboration with Warren Mori from University of California, Los Angeles, shows that the the background plasma ion motion can strongly reduce accelerating fields. The work also identifies gases that could be used to avoid the deleterious effects associated with the motion of the background plasma ions. More information can be found here.

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  • Simulations of stable self-modulated wakefields published in Physical Review Letters

    One of the challenges in future plasma based acceleration experiments at CERN and at SLAC using long hadron and lepton bunches is to stabilise the driver beam propagation for long propagation distances. In these experiments the beam dynamics will be dominated by competing mechanisms between self-modulation, which leads to large accelerating fields, and hosing, which leads to beam break-up. The work by EPP team member Jorge Vieira in collaboration with Patric Muggli from Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich and Warren Mori from University of California, Los Angeles, shows conditions where a new mechanism for hosing suppression can operate. More information can be found here.

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