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Graduate Student Seminar - 03/30/2018

"Electron  Avalanche Ionization Driven by Mid-IR Laser Pulses"

by Daniel Woodbury

Advisor:  Professor Howard Milchberg

Friday, March 30, 2018 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Abstract:  Focused, high power picosecond and nanosecond laser pulses can lead to a collisional electron cascade (avalanche) which substantially ionizes a material, even without direct field ionization or photo-ionization of the constituent atoms. Several recently proposed schemes for remote radioactive detection rely on such a laser induced breakdown in air, seeded by free electrons generated through decay of radioactive material. I will present recent results on electron avalanche ionization driven by our novel high-energy mid-IR laser system. Due to the lower photon energy, the breakdown process is markedly different compared to near-IR laser interactions and demonstrates sensitivity to the presence of radioactive material and feasible scaling for standoff detection.

For additional information about the IREAP Graduate Student Seminars, contact Linus Feder.

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