Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

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Abraham E. Blaugrund

Professor Emeritus
Location:Edna and K.B. Weissman Building of Physical Sciences, Room 122

Current Research Interests

For the last two decades I have worked mainly in the field of high density plasmas and high intensity ion and electron beams. Devealoping diagnostic methods has been my favourite. One method of measuring properties of plasmas with little interference is observing how a beam traversing a plasma is modified by it. Usually, a light beam is used as a diagnostic tool but for some measurements a beam of charged particles can yield information which cannot be obtained with light. In the past, we have used a proton beam to investigate the behaviour of transient potential wells which collectively accelerate ions to high velocities. The phenomenon occurs in a very short time - 10 nanoseconds - and the measurement must be done within that time. 

Electron beams could yield complementary information. For that purpose, a high intensity, low angular divergence (low emittance) beam is needed. Such beams can be produced from photocathodes. However, most photocathodes quickly deteriorate even in respectable high vacua. They require ultra high vacuum to ensure adequate lifetime. A practical diagnostic tool must work in more modest vacua usually encountered in plasma experiments. Recently, we have started to develop a photocathode that may satisfy this requirement. Initial results are encouraging and we plan to continue this work in the near future.