Colm Fitzpatrick - Student Profile
Current Research Project:
Applications of High Harmonics Generated from Intense Laser-Plasma Interactions
When an intense laser pulse (peak > 1018 Wcm-2) is incident on a solid density target, a plasma mirror is formed such that the laser pulse is reflected. As a result of this highly non-linear interaction, the reflected field experiences a periodic temporal distortion associated with a train of attosecond pulses, which, in the spectral domain, represents the generation of high harmonics of the incident laser.
This project involves the development of novel methods for optimising and characterising the generation of attosecond XUV pulses through intense laser-plasma interactions. Such ultrashort light pulses would allow for both probing and controlling ultrafast dynamics that operate on the attosecond timescale, for example, electron motion within atoms and molecules. We will utilise both experimental investigations using high-power ultrashort laser pulses, as well as numerical simulations of the plasma evolution on high-performance computers.
I graduated 1st class in Applied Mathematics and Physics at Queens University Belfast in 2020. My MSci research project, supervised by Dr. Catherine Ramsbottom, involved the theoretical generation of atomic data to either confirm or deny the existence of certain ions observed experimentally in astrophysical objects using R-Matrix theory. My enthusiasm for the physics of electromagnetism, along with my experience on working on numerical simulations and keen interest to perform cutting edge lab research motivated me to continue my studies at QUB in CPP.
- Plasma Physics
- Laser Physics
- High Harmonic Generation
- Ultrafast Light Interactions