Conor Fegan - Student Profile
Current Research Project:
Proton Radiography Investigations of Laser-Plasma Interaction Dynamics in High-Intensity Regimes
My research aims to investigate the interaction of ultra-intense laser pulses with matter and the subsequent large currents of relativistic electrons. These electrons flow through the surface of the irradiated target generating very large, highly transient electric and magnetic fields. Mapping these fields with high spatial and temporal resolution is of high importance for benchmarking relevant numerical codes and understanding the dynamics of acceleration and transport of the of the energetic particles.
An area I focus on is the interaction of high-intensity laser pulses with ultrathin foils, of direct relevance to advanced ion acceleration schemes. Field mapping through proton radiography will provide clarification on the dynamics and spatial characteristics of the acceleration processes, with potential positive impact on the future development of high energy ion sources for cancer therapy.
I started my PhD within the Centre for Plasma Physics at Queen’s University Belfast in October 2020 where I also was awarded a first-class honours for my MSci degree in Physics with Medical Applications in July 2020. My interest in the medical applications of laser-plasma physics is what led me to apply for this PhD.
- Laser-driven ion acceleration
- Plasma medicine