Laura Chen

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Laura Chen

Postdoctoral research associate

I am a physicist with a strong engineering background and a keen interest in high energy density physics, astrophysics, and aerospace.

I am a postdoctoral research at University of Oxford. My current research is in laboratory astrophysics, where I create scaled astrophysical environments to understand phenomena like ultra high energy cosmic rays and turbulent dynamo. I also study shock and ablation physics of recovered meteorites to develop simulations for deflecting potentially hazardous asteroids. I am a Junior Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall. I completed my PhD at Imperial College London I have worked at several US national labs, including NASA and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

I teach tutorials at Lady Margaret Hall on thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

I use laboratory experiments to study astrophysical turbulence, magnetic field amplification, and diffusive shock acceleration of particles for understanding ultra-high energy cosmic rays. I'm also continuing work in generating strong shocks in meteoritic material to study strength and equation of state for asteroid deflection efforts. I use high-powered lasers and plasma devices to create scaled environments and run a suite of in-situ diagnostics, which include interferometry, ultra-fast imaging, radiography, and spectrometry. I collaborate with national labs and universities around the world.

I'm always interested to consult with companies in relevant fields. In particular, I'm happy to consult on research methods, laboratory methods, energy & defense, space engineering, astrophysics, and teaching.