- electron-positron plasmas in high-energy Astrophysics and Cosmology
- simulations of relativistic plasma flows in high-energy astrophysical phenomena
- simulations of quark-gluon plasmas
- collective behaviour of elementary particles in ultra-high laser fields
- sources of gravitational waves: binary neutron stars, deformed compact stars,
- short gamma-ray bursts: accretion discs around black holes, magnetic instabilities, jet formation
- experiments on non-linear processes in magnetic instabilities and on the formation of self-structuring magnetic shock-waves
- theory and experiments on magnetic reconnection as the origin of microscopic magnetic turbulence
- charged-particle and cosmic-ray acceleration in shock waves
As everyone knows, the LHC at CERN is used by the international community as a fundamental instrument to advance fundamental knowledge. In a similar way, with the completion of the 4 billion US$ (about 3 billion euro) laser facility in the USA, international groups of scientists have started to take advantage of this huge machine to contribute to fundamental and applied research.
Still in parallel with the above, worldwide collaborations are putting a lot of effort in the detection of gravitational waves, which, when measured in the large-scale interferometers now operating in Europe and in the USA and planned in Japan, will open a completely new observation window on the Universe, revealing its many secrets that are inaccessible to electromagnetic observations (e.g. black-hole dynamics, internal structure of compact stars, internal engine of gamma-ray bursts, big-bang, ...).
In the group of professor Hideaki Takabe, efforts are going on in both these directions. Associate professor Youichi Sakawa is the leader of the experimental work ("laboratory astrophysics"), while the other members focus more on the theory and the numerical simulations. The current experimental and theoretical research is mostly devoted to the study of collective phenomena involving electrons, hadron, quarks, and other particles in ultra-high laser-generated electromagnetic fields. Active collaborations with international sites and groups are constantly organised.
In addition to the above topic, assistant professor Luca Baiotti carries on research on compact stars, accretion discs, and black holes, focussing also on the gravitational-wave signals they produce. In particular, systems composed of a disc accreting onto a black hole are studied as possible sources of gamma-ray bursts.
We are looking forward to work with students interested in experiments, theory or simulations.
The Gekko-XII laser system
An explosion in the vacuum chamber generated by irradiating lasers