Plasmas and Light Emission
Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park
A plasma is what can be called the fourth state of matter. Thisis an electrically conductive gas. As the other states of matter, plasmas are everywhere around us. For example, lightning strikes or high temperature flames are plasmas. In the universe, stars can be designated as spheres of hot plasma. Study of these plasmas, by their light emission, is essential for the understanding of many physical phenomena taking place at the atomic scale and which can be applied to many fields (cancer treatment, nuclear physics, ...) My project focuses on the spectroscopic study of plasmas generated by the interaction between a high-power laser and the matter. When the latter is heated in a very short time with high power, a plasma is generated. The X-ray laser located at Stanford University called Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is thus a fantastic tool due to its technical capacities. Its very high brilliance (the highest in the world) gives the opportunity to study atomic physics phenomena extremely precisely and impossible to see otherwise. My project has for objective to study some of these phenomena which occur in a plasma of titanium, this element offering numerous opportunities in high-energy physics.