Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • Karl Krushelnick
  • (734) 764-1817
  • Carolyn Kuranz
  • Louise Willingale
  • Alexander Thomas
  • Igor Jovanovic
Award Date:09/16/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 16,000,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 6,994,872
  • FY 2019=$6,994,872
Start Date:10/01/2019
End Date:09/30/2023
Transaction Type: Cooperative Agreements
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:IP): Zettawatt-Equivalent Ultrashort Pulse Laser System (ZEUS)
Federal Award ID Number:1935950
DUNS ID:073133571
Parent DUNS ID:073133571
Program:Mid-scale RI - Track 1
Program Officer:
  • Vyacheslav (Slava) Lukin
  • (703) 292-7382

Awardee Location

Street:3003 South State St. Room 1062
City:Ann Arbor
County:Ann Arbor
Awardee Cong. District:12

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Michigan
Street:2355 Bonisteel Blvd
City:Ann Arbor
County:Ann Arbor
Cong. District:12

Abstract at Time of Award

The Gerard Mourou Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS) at the University of Michigan was founded by the National Science Foundation and has been an interdisciplinary research center for more than 25 years. CUOS promotes the use of ultra-short duration laser pulses for basic scientific exploration and new technologies. As a result of the present grant, the existing HERCULES laser system at CUOS will be turned into a unique, world-class suit of lasers to be available as an NSF scientific user facility for the academic community. The facility will be called ZEUS and will provide world-leading capabilities for scientific, medical, defense and industrial research, such as novel particle accelerators, advanced radiological tools, and industrial diagnostics. Major societal impacts of this research will include the training of the next generation of laser scientists, the licensing of patents in new technologies and the formation of spin-off companies in addition to scientific understanding of matter in extreme electromagnetic fields. The establishment of the ZEUS facility will enable CUOS to continue to produce a large number of PhD scientists who will go on to work in academia, high technology industries and at US national laboratories. The past two decades have witnessed the development of revolutionary light sources having the unprecedented ability to probe and control matter with atomic scale precision. The Center for Ultrafast Optical Science has been at the forefront in the development of this high-power laser technology, with the HERCULES laser presently operational at peak powers up to 500 TW. The ZEUS facility to be constructed as a result of this grant will include a dual-beamline 3 PetaWatt laser system that will provide unique new capabilities. This will be a high power laser user facility for US scientists as well as for the wider international research community, and will have an open and transparent external review process for facility access and 30 weeks per year dedicated to external user experiments. The name ZEUS (Zettawatt-Equivalent Ultrashort pulse laser System) refers to the interaction of a PetaWatt laser pulse colliding with a GeV energy electron beam that can be generated by one of its two beamlines. This geometry provides the equivalent of a "Zettawatt" power laser interaction (10^21 Watts) in the rest frame of the electron beam. It will consequently allow exploration of fundamental yet unanswered questions regarding non-linear quantum electrodynamics in relativistic plasmas, including non-perturbative quantum radiation reaction and electron-positron pair production mechanisms. Further experiments enabled by this facility will include pump-probe experiments using femtosecond x-rays as a probe of material dynamics on ultra-short timescales, the production of GeV ion beams, the generation of instabilities in electron-positron jets, the exploration of vacuum polarization effects, relativistic astrophysical shocks, and the production of "exotic" particles such as pions and muons. Once completed, the ZEUS laser system will be the highest-power laser system in the US and will be among the highest-power lasers worldwide for the next decade. This project is part of the Foundation-wide Mid-scale Research Infrastructure program and the facility capabilities will allow scientists to address the goals of NSF's "Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics" Big Idea. Primary support for the project is provided by the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Office of Multidisciplinary Activities and the Division of Physics. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.