The Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC



The ELITAS (Extreme Light Infrastructure Tools for Advanced Simulation) project is focused on simulation and visualization tools for extreme values of electromagnetic field and plasma physics with nonlocal transport of thermal and radiation energy.

Project Period: 1/6/2017 – 31/12/2019

Registration Number: CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_013/0001793

Upcoming high-power laser facilities such as ELI Beamlines face new challenges as far as predictive simulations are concerned. These challenges exist for technology as much as for physics. The present proposed research program is addressing three fundamental issues related to high-power laser facilities.

  • The focused intensities of a 10 PetaWatt laser pulse will exceed 1022 W/cm2 and may reach 1024 W/cm2 . At these extreme field values new physics effects such as radiation-reaction and pair creation processes (with subsequent cascading) have to be incorporated correctly in kinetic simulation tools and the numerics adjusted.
  • The contrast of any laser is limited. PW lasers therefore have a non-negligible pre-pulse which preconditions the materiál with which the main pulse is interacting, changing e.g. the location of the critical surface and creating an under-critical plasma in front of the target. The physics of this plasma is determined by non-local thermal and radiation transport. Correct simulation of these conditions is challenging. This kind of physics happens to be also very important for inertial confinement fusion (ICF).
  • Visualization of simulation data is necessary for a better understanding and also for outreach activities of modern science. The complexity and size of the simulation data requires new ways to visualize them and present them in a way they can be grasped easily also by non-specialists.

The above mentioned three topics each constitute one work package of the research program.

The project is also strongly linked with the effort already undertaken to establish a local high-performance computing center in ELI Beamlines in order to support the planning and operation of experiments and technological development. In addition the visualization program is linked to the already successfully implemented virtual beamline (VBL) activities in ELI Beamlines.

Project ELITAS (Advanced simulation tools for ELI Beamlines) is approved by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and is funded within the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education.

Project leader: Stefan Andreas Weber;

ELITAS in Summary

The ELITAS research program was funded by the Structural Funds for a period of 30 months from 1. 6. 2017 to 31. 11. 2019.

The acronym ELITAS stands for ELI Tools for Advanced Simulation. The main purpose was to develop new tools for high-power laser-plasma interaction and be able to visualize them.

The research program was structured in 3 main work packages.

  • The first work package concentrated on ultra-high intensity laser-plasma interaction. The corresponding research was in preparation of forthcoming flagship experiments on the ELI Beamlines 10 PW laser (L4-femtosecond).
  • The second package addressed mainly the issue of transport processes in high-energy laser-plasma interaction of relevance for thermonuclear fusion and is of relevance to the L4- nanosecond laser beamline of ELI Beamlines.
  • Finally, the third work package concentrated on the development of new tools for the visualization of simulation and experimental data. It also developed a unique experimental configurator to assess and design experimental configurations in the P3 chamber prior to the actual experiment. This is specifically designed to help future users with their experiments in ELI Beamlines.

46 publications in refereed journals were achieved during the grant period; which testifies the impressive research activities conducted by the members of the team.

ELITAS was lucky to profit from the consultation work of Prof. V. T. Tikhonchuk, a renowned theoretician for laser-plasma interaction, who guided some of the research activities during the whole period.

A series of outreach activities, mainly specialized workshops, were organized by the group to present the progress/achievements of ELITAS and to get feedback from the international community.