Laser-driven beams: the next generation of accelerator technology

Presented by ANU College of Science

Laser-driven beams: the next generation of accelerator technology

Intense laser-solid interactions are a novel source of high energy proton, X-ray, electron and neutron beams that demonstrate high brightness and cone-beam directionality. The laser-plasma acceleration processes behind them have long been studied due to their potential for use in applications areas where a compact, flexible and tuneable beam source is ideal. In order to harness their application potential a detailed understanding of how these bright radiation beams can be controlled and optimised is required. An introduction to laser-driven plasma acceleration will be given, together with a discussion of how these sources can impact on the medical and advanced manufacturing sectors.

Dr Ceri Brenner is a physicist using the most powerful lasers in the world to develop innovative imaging technology for medical, nuclear and aerospace inspection. She has a unique role that spans research, innovation and business development and is driving the translation of laser-driven accelerator research into industrial applications that impact our society. In 2017 she was awarded the UK Institute of Physics' Clifford-Paterson Medal and Prize for her significant early career contributions to the application of physics in an industrial context.

A graduate of Oxford University and PhD from University of Strathclyde, Ceri has established a unique position working in the UK's Central Laser Facility, in which her passion for application-focused research works alongside pursuing fundamental understanding of extreme condition physics. 

She is a highly experienced and popular science communicator and is a strong advocate of physics engagement to reach new audiences within the public, academia and industry. She especially enjoys inspiring the next generation into this exciting profession. Ceri is also an active member of the physics community with leading committee roles within the Institute of Physics and British Science Association. Her website can be found here.