Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
Center for Ultrafast Optical Science
High power laser plasma interactions are interesting for applications such as the generation of energetic, directional electron, photon, ion and neutron beams or inertial fusion energy. Because of the strong electric and magnetic fields that lead to extremely far from equilibrium distributions, describing realistic high power laser interactions with plasma typically requires codes using a fully kinetic description. Professor Thomas’ research involves collisional plasma simulation using Vlasov-Fokker-Planck codes, including implicit methods using Krylov solvers for heat transport problems relating to inertial fusion energy. He is also interested in plasma simulation using particle-in-cell methods, including coupling the plasma code to very energetic photons using a Monte-Carlo method, for ultra intense short pulse laser interactions in radiation dominated regimes.