Le mot du directeur

Le mot du directeur
Sébastien Le Pape - Director of LULI
Sébastien Le Pape - Director of LULI

Since the first laser was built in 1960, the ability to concentrate the enormous power of intense, brief beams of light onto micrometric dimensions has opened the way to numerous fields of research.

Indeed, the interaction between these focused beams and matter brings the latter to conditions of extreme temperature and pressure, such as those that prevail at the heart of stars or at the centre of planets. Inertial Confinement Fusion, a promising scheme for producing low-carbon energy, is based on the use of high-power lasers to achieve the densities and temperatures needed to produce energy by fusion reaction.

The intense electric and magnetic fields of these laser beams, and the extreme values they reach in the media formed, give rise to intense and brief sources of high-energy particles and radiation in a very wide range, from UV rays to X-rays and gamma rays. The remarkable characteristics of these sources, in terms of intensity, brevity and quality, offer the prospect of numerous advances in fundamental and applied research.

The LULI laboratory has a dual mission. As a research centre for laser-created hot plasma physics and applications, it brings together scientific teams working on this rich and complex physics, often in close collaboration with French or foreign researchers from other laboratories. In addition, as a national and European facility for the study of laser-generated plasmas, LULI develops and makes available to the scientific community the most energetic French civilian power laser facilities and associated experimental equipment. To maintain its facilities at the highest level, the laboratory is also involved in innovative programmes on laser sources and associated technologies.

LULI has several laser facilities with different specificities :

  • An energy installation, LULI2000, delivering two kilojoule beams in the nanosecond regime in the nano2000 configuration, a TW beam delivering several tens of joules in a picosecond is coupled to a kilojoule beam in the PICO2000 configuration.
  • The APOLLON facility, an IR* research infrastructure, delivering beams in the femtosecond regime with a power of several petawatts. This facility opens up the field of research into ultra-high-intensity laser physics, with numerous prospects, both in the generation of intense particle and radiation sources and in very high-intensity physics, relativistic plasmas and quantum physics.
  • The HERA platform, which delivers pulses of several hundred joules in the nanosecond regime, enabling studies into the behaviour of materials under extreme conditions (of pressure and temperature) and laser-matter interaction at low and medium fluxes.

As a research and training centre for power lasers and plasma physics, LULI welcomes you to its website.