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Name: Farhat Beg
Organization: Center for Energy Research, University of California San Diego
Role in the MSEE URA: Lead, Research Area 4: Photon-Material Interactions and Coordinator, Research Area 4 / Focus Area 2: Direct Laser Impulse

What are the focus and goals of your research?

The focus and goal of my research is to create matter under extreme conditions of temperature, pressure and density. This state of the matter is created using tools like high powerlasers or pulsed power Z-pinches. The conditions that we create in the laboratory exist in Stars and Planets. The pressure and temperature we create in the plasma exceed 1 millionbar (the atmospheric pressure is 1 bar) and 1 million degrees centigrade. In these systems, magnetic fields of the order of 100’s of MegaGauss could be generated (earth’s magnetic field is less than 1 Gauss).

How has your work been enhanced by collaborating both within and external to the MSEE URA?

There are two important words in my research “shocks” and “radiation”. Both shocks and radiation are used to transfer energy from place to another in High Energy Density systems. These two processes are extremely important in the Research Area 4 (photon matter interactions) in the MSEE URA. I will be creating shocks and radiation using high power lasers to study the changes in the physical properties of materials in support of DTRA’s mission to defend the homeland against weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is pertinent to the MSEE’s main strategy to seeunderstand, and control the fundamental mechanisms that govern the behavior of materials in extreme environments. 

The collaboration within and external to the MSEE URA uniquely facilitates my and my groups expertise in high power lasers to study material behavior in extreme environment.