Imperial College London

Congratulations Nick Stuart!


Nick holding his certificate

Nick holding his certificate

Orion-funded Imperial College student wins best student poster prize at ICUIL.

Congratulations to Plasma Physics PhD candidate Nick Stuart, who fought off tough competition to win the $500 first prize in the postgraduate student poster category at this year’s International Conference for Ultrahigh Intensity Lasers event competition. Nick has been part-funded by AWE and interacted closely with the Orion laser science team during his PhD studies; he is now in the process of writing up his thesis on development of the Cerberus laser system. The event was held in Montebello, Canada.

The following text was written by Nick Hopps for the ‘Orion News’ newsletter in September 2016:

"Nick Stuart’s poster, entitled ‘OPCPA Pump-Depletion Contrast Enhancement using a Seeded OPCPA Fluorescence Diagnostic’, described his work to measure and reduce the amplified noise in an Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplifier, whilst it is in the process of amplifying injected pulses.

Usually, being several orders of magnitude greater, the amplified pulses dominate the noise, making realistic noise measurements difficult. Nick was able to spectrally discriminate the noise from the signal and thereby arrive at a real-time measurement in fully saturated amplifiers. Amplified noise is a key contributor to poor temporal contrast for ultrashort laser pulses, which can undermine many classes of experiment. Understanding it and minimising its magnitude is of great importance."


Claudia Cannon

Claudia Cannon
Faculty of Natural Sciences