Welcome to our group website!

My group focuses on experimental research on High Energy Density Plasmas, an extreme state of matter that exists in interior of stars and laser fusion plasma. Laser-based Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), known as Laser Fusion, is one of the two main approaches to obtain clean, reliable energies from fusion reactions in laboratories. It is challenging to create and diagnose such high temperature and density matter because of rapid cooling via radiation, diffusion and plasma expansion. Studying behaviors of these non-stationary and non-equilibrium plasmas helps us understand the evolution of stars and an efficient energy transfer mechanism to ignite laser fusion plasma for a potential clean energy source.


X-ray backlight image of laser-compressed CD fuel at ILE (Sawada et al., APL 2016)

Significant progresses have been made in the laser fusion research, however ignition of a laser-driven fusion fuel remains our challenge primarily due to hydrodynamic instabilities. Either in the current fusion scheme or advanced laser fusion scheme, it is a continuous challenge for us to create extremely high pressure (energy density) plasma. Our group studies creation of such a high density plasma and related physics using an ultra-intense, short-pulse laser. Because of the very short time scale of the laser pulse less than a few picoseconds, matters could be heated up to a few million degrees before it expands and cools.

Some of our ongoing research topics are

  • Laser Fusion (Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), Fast Ignition (FI) and Shock Ignition (SI))
  • Intense short pulse laser matter interaction
  • Development of high energy x-ray diagnostics
  • Generation of bright x-ray source and charged particle beams
  • Fast electron transport and characterization

Please visit the research page for more information.


To contact us:p-hiroshisawada_28a4250
Dr. Hiroshi Sawada
Department of Physics, MS 0220, University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St, Reno, NV 89557
Email: hsawada at unr.edu        Office: Leifson Physics 201
Phone: (775) 784-6772               Fax: (775) 784-1398