The TARANIS laser facility, named after the European Celtic god of thunder and lightning, has been at the core of the activities of the researchers from the School of Mathematics and Physics for over a decade. Funded jointly by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the University, the laser delivers two optically synchronised pulses of about 20 Joules of energy per pulse in sub-ps duration, for a power of about 20 TW (about 400 times more powerful than the entire UK National Grid - but only for a very short time!). The capability of delivering laser beams of nanosecond (10-9 s,) or picosecond (10-12 s) duration enables studies of very transient, short lived phenomena.
The facility is equipped with two dedicated target areas with state-of-the art diagnostics, capable of conducting experiments simultaneously. One of the target area is dedicated to high intensity laser interaction with matter, for activities related to development and application of laser-based radiation (electron, ion, neutron and X-rays) sources, and their applications. The other target area is primarily used for studying high energy long (ns) pulse interaction with matter, either at the fundamental or second harmonic of the laser. The facility has attracted collaborations, researchers and students from around the world to work with the team, while it has played a key role in attracting major grant funding from RCUK/UKRI over the years. Furthermore, the TARANIS facility offers excellent opportunities for training personnel (PhD students/postdocs) as well as testing and developing new ideas and concepts in view of experimental campiagns on larger facilities elsewhere.
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