JILA’s Strong-Field Science Team has won a $7.5 million, five-year Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award from the U. S. Department of Defense, the department announced on June 2, 2015. The award was for “Harnessing Strong-Field Mid-IR Lasers: Designer Beams of Relativistic Particles and Thz to X-Ray Light.” The University of Colorado’s experiment team includes Fellows Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn as well as Senior Research Associate Tenio Popmintchev. The theory team includes Fellow Andreas Becker and Associate Fellow Agnieszka Jaroń-Becker. The team also includes collaborators from the Universities of Michigan, Arizona, and Maryland as well as Columbia University.
“Our strong-field science team at JILA was delighted to learn that we had won a DOD MURI award,” said Murnane. She said her team plans to explore the best routes for using mid-infrared lasers to achieve exquisite control, high energy density, and increased efficiency with light matter interactions. The group also plans to create designer beams of relativistic charged particles and X-ray light by controlling their spectral, temporal, spatial, and polarization properties.
DOD’s MURI program supports research by teams of investigators that intersect with more than one traditional science and engineering discipline to accelerate research progress. Most of the awards involve researchers from multiple academic institutions and academic departments. Over the past 29 years, DOD's MURI program has resulted in significant capabilities for our military forces and opened up entirely new lines of research.