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Lasers & Sources

Video interview: Robert McCrory on the Laboratory for Laser Energetics

For 40 years, LLE at the University of Rochester has been advancing high-energy laser research and education.

23 March 2010, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201003.04

 The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) of the University of Rochester (UR) is a unique national resource for research and education in science and technology. Established in 1970 as a center for the investigation of the interaction of intense radiation with matter, the Laboratory has the five-fold mission:Advancing the Laser

  • To conduct implosion experiments and basic physics experiments in support of the National Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program.
  • To develop new laser and materials technologies.
  • To provide graduate and undergraduate education in electro-optics, high-power lasers, high-energy-density physics, plasma physics,
    and nuclear fusion technology.
  • To operate the National Laser Users' Facility.
  • To conduct research and development in advanced technology related to high-energy-density phenomena.

LLE is the home of the Omega Laser Facility that includes OMEGA, a 30 KJ UV 60 beam laser system (at a wavelength of 0.35 um) and OMEGA EP, a four-beam, high-energy, high-intensity, short -pulse (ps) laser capable of petawatt operation on two of the beamlines. The National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Inertial Confinement Fusion and the National Ignition Facility Project sponsor the National Laser User's Facility (NLUF) program, maintained and operated by the UR/LLE for NNSA.

Robert L. McCrory received his B.Sc. in Physics (1968) and his Ph.D. in Applied Plasma Physics (1973) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After positions as Research Associate in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at MIT and Staff Member in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, he joined the LLE in 1976. He has been promoted within UR/LLE several times and currently serves as Director, Vice Provost, Chief Executive Officer, and Senior Scientist. He became a professor of mechanical engineering in 1984 and a professor of physics in 1999.

McCrory works on wavelength dependence of the hydrodynamic efficiency of laser-driven targets and hydrodynamic stability theory. He was awarded the 1995 Edward Teller Medal for his pioneering research and leadership in the use of lasers for controlled thermonuclear fusion. The Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors awarded Dr. McCrory the 1996 Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion. The Board noted the key role he plays in the management councils of the national and international inertial confinement fusion communities and his important role in bringing an academic perspective to the national inertial confinement fusion program. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1985 for his many contributions to fundamental understanding of hydrodynamic instability and thermal transport in laser-driven plasmas.

Laboratory for Laser Energetics website

NNSA National Laser User Facilities Program