Porträt Prof. Dr. Cowan, Thomas; FWK

Prof. Dr. Thomas Cowan

Director Institute of Radiation Physics
Phone: +49 351 260 2270

High Energy Density

We call matter with energy densities exceeding ~1011 J/m3 "high energy density" matter, which corresponds to pressures above 100 GPa (= 1 million times atmospheric pressure). These states of matter can be found in the deep interiors of planets and stars as well as in many laboratory applications, e.g. the interaction of intense lasers with materials. Our division is active in various areas of this reletively new and quickly evolving field of research.

Warm Dense Matter

Warme Dense Matter

Warm Dense Matter, i.e. the transition regime between solids or liquids and hot plasmas is present in the interiors of many celestial bodies like planets and stars, but also plays a major role in modern laboratory applications like synthesis of new materials, intense laser-matter interaction, fusion research, and many more. Our team works towards first experiments at European XFEL equipped with HIBEF, which will allow for unprecedented insights into the dynamic properties of warm dense matter. A Helmholtz Young Investigators group is planning Day-1 WMD experiments at HIBEF. More information can be found here.

EUCALL Target Network - EuTN


In the frame of the European Cluster of Advanced Laser Light sources, the HED group is promoting a European initiative aimed at enabling high repetition rate experiments at advanced laser facilities. The goal of this initiative is to make available for the European community a sustainable infrastructure for sample supply and technical solutions for issues such as, for example, sample debris, effects of electromagnetic pulses and sample damage.

Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering – SAXS

The group has successfully applied Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering to the study of nanometer scale phenomena in plasmas generated by ultra-intense laser-matter interactions. This technique can explore feature sizes in the order of 5 nanometers, bridging the current ranges between phasecontrast imaging (~500 nm) and diffraction imaging (~ Å).