Theses / Abschlussarbeiten

We continuously have positions for Bachelor and Master theses in our group. The topics are based in the field of laser-plasma interaction and motivated by current research. The thesis can be written in either German or English, and it can be more numerically or analytically oriented. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our group is mostly working on the study of particle acceleration in plasma. Compared to more conventional accelerators, plasma can sustain significantly higher field gradients, meaning that particles can be accelerated to high energy over shorter distances. One of the most prominent schemes is the so-called “wakefield acceleration”, where either a high-intensity laser pulse or a particle beam drives a plasma wave that is capable of trapping and accelerating electrons. Our research in this field utilizes both particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations with our group’s own code VLPL (Virtual Laser-Plasma Lab) on large-scale computer clusters and analytical models.

Besides the acceleration of lighter particles like electrons and positrons, we are also interested in ion acceleration via laser-plasma based mechanisms. Applications of ion beams i.a. include hadrontherapy for the treatment of oncological diseases and spin-polarized ion beams for increased cross sections in fusion.

Of further interest is the investigation of quantum electrodynamical effects (QED) in strong fields. These can be induced e.g. in the interaction of high-intensity lasers with solid-state targets or the collision of two high-energy particle beams. When the so-called Schwinger limit is reached, processes like electron-positron pair production can occur. We frequently examine the “fully non-perturbative regime of QED” with the aid of PIC simulations. This regime has not been investigated experimentally yet and only preliminary analytical studies are available to this day.

Some examples of past theses:

•    Electron injection and acceleration in phenomenological models for the blowout regime
•    Structure of 3D Coulomb clusters in relativistic plasma cavities
•    Influence of radiation reaction on particle acceleration in plasmas
•    Acceleration of relativistic electrons in periodic plasma structures
•    Acceleration of spin-polarized particles via high-intensity laser pulses
•    Analytical description of blowouts in plasma channels
•    High harmonic generation with structured targets
•    QED effects in relativistic plasma
•    Optimization of numerical dispersion for a 3D Maxwell solver
•    Development of a 3D relativistic tree code