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Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy

About WCUS

The Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy, funded by the EPSRC and the University of Warwick, and designed and constructed in collaboration with Newport Spectra Physics, is a state-of-the-art femtosecond laser facility comprising four beamlines with experiments ranging from the ultraviolet to the terahertz regime. This facility, a joint project between the physics and chemistry departments, will act as a focus for collaboration both within the university and without, with external users being able to book time on any of the experiments. WCUS boasts a wide range of available techniques, with a focus towards ease of access, making this facility unique in the UK when compared to larger facilities of this kind. We have an informal 'proof-of-concept' application process, to allow us to properly assess your needs before making longer term books, which makes WCUS an exciting platform for multidisciplinary studies and cutting edge research. Just email our Facility Manager if you want to know more. Use the buttons to the right to explore the facility, view the major objectives of WCUS, or book time on a beamline. Please note before booking, projects longer than one week will go to our advisory board before time is alloted.

News

Nobel Prize Colloquium : Intense Laser Beams

On 24th October a special Departmental Colloquium in the Physics Department commemorated the recent 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Sutherland. The prize celebrated the trios' "groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”. Dr Gavin Morley spoke about the invention of optical tweezers, and their widespread adoption and use today. Dr James Lloyd-Hughes described the discovery and principles of chirped-pulse amplification, which is now used worldwide to create incredibly intense laser pulses for laser machining (micromachining and laser eye surgery) and scientific applications.

Chirped pulse amplification is the technique used in WCUS to produce our amplified laser pulses, which we use to perform ultrafast spectroscopy across the electromagnetic spectrum. As an example of the extreme intensity now routinely available, this video shows the focussed laser beam output producing a plasma (white ball, bottom right). The "buzz" on the video is the sound of the laser creating a mini explosion 1000 times per second. In addition to glowing, the plasma acts as a non-linear source of light, hence the blue/white/red glow on the top left. Thanks to Dr Mick Staniforth & Connor Mosley for the video.

UK-THz Workshop @ Warwick

We would like to invite you to the University of Warwick in December to a workshop on terahertz (THz) science and technology, with the theme "THz Instrumentation and Applications". The scientific and technical session of talks and posters will be on Tuesday 11th December, with a welcome dinner on campus the night before (Monday 10th). The event is being organised by Emma MacPherson & James Lloyd-Hughes in Warwick, with help from some of the previous EPSRC Teranet network steering group. Registration and the programme are available here.