LLNL's HEDS Center collaborates with our academic partners to develop and deliver for-credit courses in HED science. We also develop and deliver "short" not-for-credit courses for students and LLNL staff on various HED science topics. 

Short Courses

The Center collaborated with our academic partners to deliver the short courses described below, which were offered to LLNL staff, as well as faculty, students, and postdocs from our partnering institutions. If you are interested in viewing course material for one of these completed courses, please contact the HEDS Center Administrator, Jessica Letteer, at letteer1 [at]

Laser-Plasma Interactions

This three-week short course, offered during November 2019, explored the principles of laser-plasma interactions that are relevant to HED physics, with a focus on unmagnetized plasmas. The course instructor was Pierre Michel, an LLNL expert in plasma physics. Find out more about the laser-plasma interactions short course.

Interaction of X Rays with Matter

This course provided an overview of the interaction of x rays with matter, ranging from low-intensity continuous-wave to high-intensity short-pulse x-ray radiation as produced by x-ray free-electron lasers. Discussions covered relevant physical processes, including the interaction of the x-ray field with electrons, the coupling of the electrons to the ions, and the x-ray induced microscopic and macroscopic changes in materials. The course also included a full quantum mechanical description of the interaction of radiation with matter will be given. 

Stefan Hau-Riege

About the instructor: Dr. Stefan Hau-Riege is a computational and experimental physicist who utilizes x-ray–free–electron–laser (XFEL) based imaging, scattering, and spectroscopic techniques to study the structure, dynamics, and electronic properties of materials transitioning from condensed to warm-dense matter. Part of his current research addresses methods to understand ultrafast processes in materials irradiated by high-intensity x-rays and to alleviate the effect of x-ray damage in XFEL atomic-resolution bioimaging. Dr. Hau-Riege currently serves as the associate division leader for LLNL's Applied Physics organization.

HED Plasma Experiments and Diagnostics

This short course surveyed the basics of laboratory HED plasmas produced by energetic lasers, and principles of several diagnostic instruments used to measure their properties. The course was intended for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students interested in pursuing graduate studies in HED physics, and for scientists trained in related fields who seek a broad knowledge of HED physics. At the end of the course, students were expected to be familiar with the field and able to begin studying individual topics in detail, with a holistic understanding of the key principles and relationships linking the various sub-disciplines. Course topics included:

  • Introduction to laser matter interaction physics in the “short pulse” (picoseconds) and “long” (nanoseconds) pulse regimes
  • Principles of laser-driven HED experimental techniques
  • Physical Principles of Diagnostic Instruments for High-Energy-Density Plasmas
  • Current HED experiments using lasers, and their underlying physics
Hui Chen

About the instructor: Dr. Hui Chen is a staff scientist at LLNL. Her chief research interests are high temperature plasma physics, including intense laser produced relativistic electron-positron pairs, novel sensors for gated x-ray imaging, and x-ray spectroscopy of highly charged ions. Dr. Chen is an internationally recognized physicist who has made important contributions to several areas of plasma physics, most notably in the new field of relativistic positron generation via intense laser-matter interactions. 


Full-Length Courses

The following full-length courses have been offered as part of the Center's collaborations with our academic partners. 

Plasma Diagnostics

The HEDS Center is collaborating with the University of California, San Diego, to offer a graduate-level course in diagnostics for HED plasmas. The 10-week online course will begin on March 31, 2020 and will be co-taught by two HED science experts from LLNL. The course will provide an introduction to the evolving and diverse technologies underlying HED diagnostics, with an emphasis on the underlying physics of measurement techniques. Learn more about the plasma diagnostics course

Special Topics in HED Physics

The HEDS Center collaborated with the University of Rochester to offer a new graduate course focused on special topics in HED physics, which was delivered for the first time in Fall 2019. The course surveys the field of HED Science, extending from ultra-dense matter to the radiation-dominated regime. Learn more about the special topics course

Extreme Physics

The HEDS Center partnered with the University of California, San Diego to deliver a new graduate course focused on the physics of materials at very high energies and densities. The course was taught by LLNL physicist Jeff Colvin, co-author of the book "Extreme Physics." It covers basic properties of dense and classical plasmas, ionization physics, the physical mechanisms by which laser light is absorbed in matter, the basics of fluid dynamics (hydrodynamics) and shock-wave formation and propagation, radiation transport in matter, and the basics of numerical simulation of radiation-hydrodynamics phenomenology. Learn more about the extreme physics course.

extreme physics textbook cover