Parametric instabilities of a short ultra-intense laser pulse in plasmas
The interaction of an intense (intensity Il ≈ 1018 W/cm2) short-pulse laser (few femtoseconds pulse duration) with the ordinary matter converts the latter into the so-called plasma state. Intense laser-plasma interaction is a frontier area of research and has many exciting applications ranging from the laser-driven fusion to the building of the compact advanced particle accelerators and next generation radiation (x-rays) sources. For these applications, the issue of the laser pulse stability is important as the propagation of a laser pulse in a plasma is subject to various instabilities collectively known as the "parametric instabilities", and they have been studied for decades in the context of the laser-driven fusion. At ultra-high intensities Il >> 1022 W/cm2, there is a need to take into account the effect of the radiation reaction force on the particle dynamics. Inclusion of it in the plasma dynamics gives rise to unexpected results and and new physical processes [Kumar et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 105001 (2013)]. This project focuses on the detailed investigation of the parametric instabilities of a short-pulse laser by incorporating the radiation reaction force and the ion dynamics in the theoretical formalism of the parametric instabilities, and addressing the issue of the convective growth of the instabilities relevant for the short-pulse laser. For carrying out the numerical studies, a particle-in-cell (PIC) code (written in Fortran 90)-which runs on several hundred processors on the MPIK cluster-including the radiation reaction force and pair-production is employed.
Working on this project will provide a good opportunity to acquire knowledge about the plasma instabilities and particle-in-cell simulation method in laser-plasma interaction, which are indispensable for carrying out research in the areas of the laser-driven fusion or plasma based acceleration of charged particles. The candidate is expected to carry out both analytical and numerical investigations under adequate guidance, and should be ready to learn about the scientific computation/visualization tools such as Matlab and VisIt.
Please send your application including CV by email to Naveen Kumar.