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Professor Alec Thomas

Formerly at Lancaster University

Research overview

Professor Thomas works in experimental and theoretical plasma physics. His research is focused on the physics and applications of high-power laser interactions with plasma. When heated by lasers, highly non-equilibrium states of matter arise, where complex behavior such as collective wave-particle interactions is prevalent and only full kinetic descriptions of the particle distribution are valid. Light and plasma couple together strongly, leading to instabilities and nonlinear wave formation. At the highest intensities, quantum electrodynamic effects become important in determining the plasma dynamics. Applications of intense laser driven plasma include advanced, miniature particle accelerators, next generation photon sources and inertial fusion energy. 

External Roles

I am a member of the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology. The Cockcroft Institute's purpose is to research, design and develop particle accelerators, machines that can be used to reveal the nature of matter, to probe what happened at the instant the universe was born and to develop new materials and medicines to improve our quality of life.

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