Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Laser-Plasma Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 9643stuart.mangles Website




725Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





In my research, I use intense laser-plasma interactions to create new kinds of compact particle accelerators and X-ray light sources, and I exploit the unique properties of these sources to explore the physics of extreme conditions. 

Particle accelerators are well known as important tools of scientific discovery, but they are large and expensive machines. The laser wakefield acceleration technique I research now allows high-energy particle and X-ray beams to be produced in a university size laboratory. Using these accelerators we can now produce multi-GeV electron beams in a plasma accelerator just a few centimetres long (something which a conventional accelerator can only achieve in one hundred metres or more). 

The unique properties of the beams that laser wakefield accelerators produce, together with their co-location and easy synchronization with other high-power laser sources, are now helping to drive a new generation of experiments.  These experiments aim to understand how matter behaves under extreme conditions – extremely high temperatures, densities and electromagnetic field intensities compared to anything found on Earth, but conditions that are surprisingly common and important throughout the universe. 



Maitrallain A, Brunetti E, Streeter MJ, et al., 2022, Parametric study of high-energy ring-shaped electron beams from a laser wakefield accelerator, New Journal of Physics, Vol:24, ISSN:1367-2630

Kettle B, Hollatz D, Gerstmayr E, et al., 2021, A laser-plasma platform for photon-photon physics: the two photon Breit-Wheeler process, New Journal of Physics, Vol:23, ISSN:1367-2630

Bradley LE, Streeter MJ, Murphy CD, et al., 2021, Effect of laser temporal intensity skew on enhancing pair production in laser-electron-beam collisions, New Journal of Physics, Vol:23, ISSN:1367-2630

Finlay OJ, Gruse JN, Thornton C, et al., 2021, Characterisation of a laser plasma betatron source for high resolution x-ray imaging, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol:63, ISSN:0741-3335


Baggott RA, Rose SJ, Mangles SPD, 2021, Temperature Equilibration Due to Charge State Fluctuations in Dense Plasmas, ISSN:0730-9244

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