“Laboratory astrophysics: can we study the physics of cosmic accelerators in the lab?” by Frederico Fiuza (SLAC)

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

1-434 Physics and Astronomy (map)

Reception from 3:30-4:00 p.m.
(unless otherwise posted)

Guest Speaker: Frederico Fiuza (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

Talk Title:  “Laboratory astrophysics: can we study the physics of cosmic accelerators in the lab?”


Astrophysical plasmas are efficient particle accelerators, from keV electrons in terrestrial aurorae to > 10^20 eV Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays of unknown provenance. The mechanisms behind these cosmic accelerators remain a long-standing mystery. Energy dissipation and particle acceleration is associated with the microphysics of shocks, magnetic reconnection, turbulence, and plasma instabilities, through highly nonlinear dynamics not yet fully understood, that require a kinetic treatment. I will discuss how the fast progress in computational capabilities and laser technology is creating a unique window of opportunity to push the boundaries of our understanding of particle acceleration in plasmas by allowing the detailed kinetic modeling of different astrophysical scenarios and controlled laboratory experiments that can validate these models. In particular, I will describe recent results from kinetic simulations and laser-plasma experiments that bring novel insights into the physics of particle acceleration in collisionless shocks and magnetic reconnection.

For more information, contact Jay Hauser

We thank the following people for their contributions to the wine fund for the post-colloquium reception:
Prof. Dolores Bozovic, Prof. Robijn Bruinsma, Prof. Wesley Campbell, Prof. Bob Cousins, Prof. Jay Hauser, Prof. Eric Hudson, Robert Huff, Prof. HongWen Jiang, Prof. Alex Kusenko, Prof. John Miao, Prof. George Morales, Prof. Pietro Musumeci, Prof. Christoph Niemann, Prof. Rene Ong, Prof. James Rosenzweig, Prof. David Saltzberg, Prof. Jean Turner, and Prof. Gary Williams.

1-434 PAB