♦Imagine the earth as a giant lens, focusing the solar energy it receives to the tip of a hair– the gargantuan light intensities generated as a resultcan be reproduced in our laboratory by a femtosecond laser pulse. We work at the frontier of intense laser-matter interactions by exciting matter with intense femtosecond laser pulses of terawatt peak powers.
•UPHILL houses two state-of-the-art intense laser facilities – (a) a 20 terawatt and (b) an ultrahigh-contrast 100 terawatt chirped-pulse-amplified titanium-doped sapphire laser, that deliver joule-energy pulses of 30-femtoseconds pulsewidth centered at a wavelength of 800 nm and operating at a repetition rate of 10 Hz. The peak intensities that can be generated are typically 1018 - 1019 W/cm2.
• Generation of picosecond-bursts of the largest terrestrial magnetic fields, nearly a billion times that of the earth, with far-reaching implications in inertial confinement fusion and laboratory astrophysics (Sandhu PRL 2002, Mondal PNAS 2012, Chatterjee PRL 2012).
•Table-top acceleration of neutral atoms to mega-electronvolt energies (Rajeev Nature Phys. 2013) as a result of the interaction of intense lasers with cluster nanoplasmas (Trivikram PRL 2013).
•Generation of hard x-ray pulses from nanostructures (Rajeev PRL 2003) and even bacterial cells (Krishnamurthy Opt. Exp. 2012).