We are the High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) research group in the Department of Physics at The Ohio State University.
We study the interactions of ultra-short, ultra-intense laser pulses with matter. Although our research has its origins in the field of atomic, molecular and optical physics, the matter and energy regimes in which high energy density conditions exist give rise to a truly unique area of study.
Our group performs experiments with the Scarlet laser, an ultra-short pulsed laser system capable of producing a peak power of 400 TW and a peak intensity of 1021 W/cm2 at the laser focus. In comparison, the average total power consumption of the entire United States is only a few TW! Of course, the level of power in our laser is only sustained for a very short amount of time. However, while the total energy deposited into the materials we study is relatively small, the response of many atomic processes is dependent upon the intensity of incident energy; that is to say, the amount of energy deposited in a given amount of time.