Collaboration award for energy team

An Anglo-Japanese team has been awarded the 2007 Daiwa Adrian Prize for their research into high energy density science

An Anglo-Japanese team has been awarded the 2007 Daiwa Adrian Prize for their research entitled ’High energy density science: new frontiers in plasma physics’ at a ceremony at The Royal Society.

Daiwa Adrian Prizes are awarded on a triennial basis in recognition of significant scientific collaboration between British and Japanese research teams in the field of pure science or the application of science. They acknowledge research teams that have combined excellence in scientific achievement with a long-term contribution to UK-Japan relations.

The winning team, which was awarded £15,000 in prize money, is led by Prof Peter Norreys from the Central Laser Facility at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Prof Ryosuke Kodama from Osaka University, Japan. It incorporates researchers from Imperial College London, Queen’s University Belfast and the universities of Oxford and York.

Norreys said of the research that the group have been undertaking: ‘High energy density science is based on recent developments in laser technology that have allowed unprecedented powers to be reached in the laboratory.

‘Laser pulses of up to one petawatt (1015W) – equivalent to a hundred times the entire world’s electricity production – can be focused to a spot smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Fortunately it only lasts for one billionth of a second, but during that time, electric fields of billions of volts per centimetre, temperatures of tens of millions of degrees centigrade, and pressures in the 1,000 million atmospheres range are generated.

‘Equivalent conditions are found in the interior of stars, in supernova explosions and other astrophysical phenomena, and we are looking at how matter behaves under these extreme conditions.’