Behind-the-scenes @ Orion Laser, Aldermaston

Wednesday 2nd October 2013 @ 14:00

Professor Steven Rose, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences

High power laser facilities, like the newly commissioned Orion, offer a relatively simple way of creating the conditions needed to conduct research into high energy density physics phenomena.

The Orion laser at AWE is used to conduct research into high energy density physics phenomena, such that occur at the heart of a nuclear explosion. The building houses a large neodymium glass laser system and a target chamber in which the high energy density physics experiments are conducted. Orion will generate matter at super densities and temperatures only found in stars.

2013-2014 marks the first full year of Orion operations.  A packed schedule with significant over-subscription for system time reflects Orion’s position as a world-leading laser facility.  Campaigns during the first year plan to investigate specific areas of research, commissioning target diagnostics and fielding the first academic access experiments.

Our host for this event is Professor Rose, who joined the College as the Head of Plasma Physics in December 2006, a position he held until October 2011. Professor Rose has worked in plasma physics for all of his career, with a particular emphasis on plasmas produced using high-power lasers. He has spent much of that time working at the two high-power laser facilities in the UK: the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory’s Central Laser Facility where he became the Associate Director for Physics and at AWE Aldermaston where he was the Head of Plasma Physics.

In 2009 Steve became the Director of Imperial College’s Institute for Shock Physics and most recently he has been appointed as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Venue: Aldermaston