High Energy Density Physics

We recreate extreme conditions, as found e.g. at the center of the Earth or inside of stars, in the laboratory for fractions of a second. To this end, we apply the most energetic pulsed laser systems and the brightest X-ray sources on our planet. As very often both typical high-temperature and low-temperature approximations cannot be applied, we find that so-called high energy density matter is full of surprises. In turn, our experiments test and very often challenge state-of-the-art quantum many-body theories.

Desired applications of High Energy Density Physics include:

  • Modelling the interiors of planets and stars to understand the formation of our solar system and to inform the search for extraterrestrial life in our galaxy.

  • Several approaches to exploit fusion energy.

  • The search for new useful materials that form at conditions never naturally present on Earth.

Students interested in Bachelor, Master or PhD thesis work are highly welcome to directly contact Prof. Kraus!