JAI student Elias Gerstmayr passes his PhD with his thesis titled "Energetic Radiation from Wakefield Acceleration and its Applications".
Elias' thesis explores the experimental production and characterisation of high-energy gamma radiation using a laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA) and its application in the context of studies of fundamental QED phenomena.
The experimental results at the core of his thesis were acquired using the Gemini laser of the Central Laser facility.
His thesis shows that high-intensity lasers are feasible tools to produce and probe extreme states of matter comparable to those found in the early universe and in violent astrophysical phenomena like gamma ray bursts or close to magnetised black holes. The highly energetic radiation that is generated in these interactions in the laboratory sheds light on fundamental interactions that in turn help to understand phenomena in space. This approach is commonly referred to as ‘laboratory astrophysics’.
Elias now moves on to a research position at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California.
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Department of Physics