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Gianluca Gregori

Professor of Physics

Prof Gregori research interests cover laboratory astrophysics with high power lasers, dense plasmas as found in interior of stars and planets, and inertial confinement fusion (ICF) energy. He started at Oxford University in October 2007 as as an RCUK Fellow in the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics. In 2012 he became Fellow and Tutor of Physics at Lady Margaret Hall, and in 2013 he was appointed Professor of Physics.

From 2001 to 2005 Prof Gregori worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA), in the Fast Ignitor Physics group within the ICF Program. He was a post-doctoral researcher from 2001 to 2003 and then appointed as staff scientist.

From 2005-2012, Prof Gregori has been holding a senior experimental scientist position at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. In 2007, Prof Gregori's team was awarded a 2007 Daiwa Adrian Prize for its research into ‘High energy density science: new frontiers in plasma physics’.

He holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, USA) and a M.S. from the University of Bologna (Italy).

Dr Gregori is currently teaching at LMH where his primary interest is in tutoring electromagnetism, atomic physics, and condensed matter physics.

High energy density refers to energy densities exceeding 1011 Joules per cubic meter (J/m3), or equivalent, pressures exceeding 1 megabar (Mbar). High energy density experiments span a wide range of areas of physics including plasma physics, laser and particle beam physics, material science, intense radiation-matter interaction, and astrophysics. These exotic states of matter are created when a high power laser irradiates a solid or a gas target, forming a plasma. The directed energy from the laser is converted into thermal energy as well as charged particles and x-rays. The transition between the initial solid to the final plasma state is also of interest, as it unveils the loss and formation of long-range order with associated changes in the atomic structure of dense matter. This transition region is referred to as warm dense matter. Such plasmas are often of interest from the point of view of astrophysics, as many of the phenomena that occur are similar to those found in specific astrophysical context, for example, supernovae explosions, white dwarfs and interior of stars and planets.
In particular, our research work is focussed on the following areas:

  • X-ray scattering measurements of the microscopic properties of exotic plasmas created in laser-plasma experiments.
  • Laboratory simulation of cosmological shock waves
  • Structural dynamics of the solid-to-plasma phase transition with 4th generation light sources
  • High intensity laser-matter interactions and QED with high power lasers
  • Inertial confinement fusion energy

Prof Gregori holds visiting positions at the University of Chicago and Imperial College.