Welcome to our ZEUS User Lab

The 1st ZEUS user webinar, to present the project and solicit input from the user community was held on June 18, 2020 – view the recording and read the Q&A on this page

If you are interested to join us, sign up to become a member of the ZEUS user group: Please fill out the following form to receive further announcements regarding ZEUS.

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 Gérard Mourou 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 the grant from the National Science Foundation Mid-scale Research Infrastructure program. ZEUS 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.

Sign up to become a member of the ZEUS user group

Please fill out the following form to receive further announcements regarding ZEUS.

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 (1021 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 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 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.

Primary support for the project is provided by the NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Office of Multidisciplinary Activities and the Division of Physics.