Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Senior Lecturer



+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. 



Mangles SPD, Cowley J, Thornton C, et al., Excitation and Control of Plasma Wakefields by Multiple Laser Pulses, Physical Review Letters, ISSN:1079-7114

Sarri G, Warwick J, Schumaker W, et al., 2017, Spectral and spatial characterisation of laser-driven positron beams, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol:59, ISSN:0741-3335

Šmíd M, Gallardo González I, Ekerfelt H, et al., 2017, Highly efficient angularly resolving x-ray spectrometer optimized for absorption measurements with collimated sources., Rev Sci Instrum, Vol:88

Behm KT, Zhao TZ, Cole JM, et al., 2016, Ionization injection effects in x-ray spectra generated by betatron oscillations in a laser wakefield accelerator, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol:58, ISSN:0741-3335

Cole JM, Wood JC, Lopes NC, et al., 2016, Tomography of human trabecular bone with a laser-wakefield driven x-ray source, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol:58, ISSN:0741-3335

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