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Fermilab Lecture Series presents:
Surfing on Plasma Waves: Can We Hang 10 All the Way to the Energy Frontier?
Dr. Thomas C. Katsouleas
Professor and Dean, Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 @ 8 p.m.- Tickets $5
Presented by Fermilab Lecture Series and the Fermilab User's Organization

Particle accelerators, such as the Tevatron at Fermilab, are the largest and most successful machines ever built by humans. They have revealed the nature of matter and energy as we know it and act as time machines to reveal the nature of the universe just after the big bang. At the same time, accelerators are also used for everything from manufacturing microchips to treating cancer patients. Yet their very size and cost threaten the continued success of the scientific progress and applications they enable. Katsouleas will review progress toward a new accelerator paradigm based on plasmas capable of dramatically reducing the size and cost of future particle accelerators.

Plasma, a fourth distinct state of matter, has properties quite unlike those of solids, liquids or gases. It can support tremendous electric forces beyond those of a conventional accelerator. In recent experiments, scientists used lasers and particle beams to generate huge electric waves in plasma that are 10,000 times larger than the radio waves used in an accelerator like the Tevatron at Fermilab. So the natural question is then, "Can we make a similarly powerful accelerator that is 10,000 times smaller?" Reducing the size of accelerators could benefit many fields, such as medicine, where accelerators are leading to new cancer therapies and medical diagnostics. Katsouleas will present the challenges and prospects for making a future plasma wakefield accelerator that will advance scientific knowledge at the energy frontier.

Thomas C. Katsouleas, Ph.D, became dean of Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, in July 2008, where he is also a Professor of Electrical and Computing Engineering. He earned a B.S. and Ph.D. in physics both from UCLA in 1979 and 1984, respectively. He continued at UCLA where he served for seven years on the faculty. Katsouleas' primary research interest is in the use of plasmas as novel particle accelerators and light sources. He joined the University of Southern California faculty as an associate professor of electrical engineering in 1991 and rose steadily through the academic ranks, becoming full professor in 1997. There he also served as an Associate Dean of Engineering and Vice Provost of Information Technology Services. He serves as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, and the Journal of Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion.


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