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Accelerator & Ultrafast Physics

Hardware on a fingertip

Electron particle accelerator on a chip (Byer group)


Faculty in the Department of Applied Physics have a long tradition of pushing the frontiers of ultrafast science and chip-scale accelerators.


One of our primary tools is the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s first hard X-ray free electron laser, located at SLAC. By leveraging the LCLS and the opportunities it enables, we strive to provide world leadership in ultrafast and short wavelength science and technology. The science being conducted by PULSE and SIMES researchers is driven heavily by the transformational research opportunities introduced by ultrafast and high-field science with X-rays. Thus, we are engaging in work that was not possible prior to the introduction of the LCLS. Current topics studied by Profs. Bucksbaum, Heinz, and Reis include attosecond science, nonlinear x-ray science, strong field AMO science, electron dynamics at the nanoscale, ultrafast condensed matter physics, and quantum control. Much of this work is done in conjunction with the local PULSE independent laboratory. In addition, Prof. Byer has created an “accelerator on a chip.” Prof. Shen uses ultrafast time resolved photoemission and scattering experiments for quantum materials research using tabletop lasers and LCLS.

Accelerator Physics

Ultrafast Physics:  Phenomena & Optics

Courtesy faculty: Zhirong Huang

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High-order harmonic generation in a bulk crystal (Reis group)

Image with waves

Quantum interference patterns made by electrons when they are ripped out of an atom by laser fields (Bucksbaum group)