2nd LA³NET Workshop held at Fraunhofer ILT

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This week saw the 2nd LA³NET Topical Workshop on ‘Laser technology and optics design’ held at the world-leading Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) at the Fraunhofer in Aachen, Germany (4th to 6th November 2013). The workshop addressed the key aspects of optics design relevant for particle accelerators within a mainly training-based format and attracted over 50 participants from across Europe including all of the LA³NET fellows.

Proceedings were initiated by Prof. Reinhart Poprawe on behalf of our hosts at the Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen who described the work of the institute and the diverse current applications and future potential for laser technology. Prof. Carsten Welsch followed this with an overview of the LA³NET project in the wider context of post graduate training and European accelerator research. The training proper then got underway covering general optics design and an overview of different laser sources delivered by ILT researchers including the scientist-in-charge for the LA³NET project and local organization lead, Dieter Hoffmann. Prof. Allan Gillespie from the University of Dundee also gave a talk comparing photon beams with charged particle beams.

The second day of the workshop addressed more advanced topics with details of beam characterization and optical component characterization occupying the full morning. After lunch an exciting tour of the ILT labs demonstrated the state-of-the-art facilities including kW class femtosecond source development as well as non-linear optics facilities and LIDAR sources. The final parallel sessions of the day after the tour presented the delegates with a choice of two in-depth topics:

  • High power enhancement cavities
  • Tunable lasers and frequency conversion

After that strenuous day of talks and tours the delegates enjoyed the workshop meal in the historical setting of the Ratskeller within the town hall. This provided the perfect relaxed environment for networking and developing collaborations.

‌The final day for the workshop was initiated with the experimentalist’s view on the realization of relativistic light intensities with ultrafast TW-laser for particle acceleration. This was followed by an in-depth talk about design of beam transfer lines and imaging optics. The workshop was brought to a close with a discussion on the state-of-the art in lasers and optics design and future requirements for funding. This provided fruit for thought and helped focus attention on the way forward to capitalize on the relations already established between participants.

Many thanks to Dieter Hoffmann at ILT for developing the programme with LA³NET and coordinating local arrangements with the other local organizers at ILT, in particular Karin Ergen. This ensured the smooth running of the workshop providing the ideal environment for delegates and maximizing benefit for all.

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