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Prof Paul McKenna


Personal statement

Paul McKenna's research interests focus on high power laser-plasma interactions. His present research topics include: laser-driven ion acceleration; fast electron generation and transport in dense plasma, and application to the development of advanced schemes for inertial fusion energy; high field physics at the focus of ultra-intense laser pulses; plasma optics; and, laser-driven nuclear physics. 
He is an EPSRC Leadership fellow since 2012 and a Professor of Laser-Plasma Physics at the University of Strathclyde since 2011. He received his PhD at Queens University Belfast in 2000, before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the university of Glasgow from 2000-2002. From 2002-2005, he held a Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship at the University of Strathclyde, and was appointed to a Lectureship at the university in 2006, and a Readership in 2008.


In-depth study of intra-Stark spectroscopy in the x-ray range in relativistic laser–plasma interactions
Oks E, Dalimier E, Faenov A Ya, Angelo P, Pikuz S A, Pikuz T A, Skobelev I Yu, Ryazanzev S N, Durey P, Doehl L, Farley D, Baird C, Lancaster K L, Murphy C D, Booth N, Spindloe C, McKenna P, Neumann N, Roth M, Kodama R, Woolsey N
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Vol 50, (2017)
Transverse expansion of the electron sheath during laser acceleration of protons
Svensson K., Mackenroth F., Senje L., Gonoskov A., Harvey C., Aurand B., Hansson M., Higginson A., Dalui M., Lundh O., McKenna P., Persson A., Marklund M., Wahlström C.-G.
Physics of Plasmas, pp. 1-6, (2017)
Signatures of quantum effects on radiation reaction in laser-electron-beam collisions
Ridgers C. P., Blackburn T. G., Del Sorbo D., Bradley L. E., Slade-Lowther C., Baird C. D., Mangles S. P. D., McKenna P., Marklund M., Murphy C. D., Thomas A. G. R.
Journal of Plasma Physics Vol 83, (2017)
Experimental demonstration of a compact epithermal neutron source based on a high power laser
Mirfayzi S. R., Alejo A., Ahmed H., Raspino D., Ansell S., Wilson L.A., Armstrong C., Butler N.M.H., Clarke R. J., Higginson A., Kelleher J., Murphy C., Notley M., Rusby D.R., Schooneveld E., Borghesi M., McKenna P., Rhodes N. J., Neely D., Brenner C.M., Kar S.
Applied Physics Letters, (2017)
Modelling the effect of the radiation reaction force on the acceleration of ultra-thin foils
Duff M. J., Capdessus R., King M., Del Sorbo D., Ridgers C. P., McKenna P.
Proc. SPIE 10241, Research Using Extreme LightProceedings of SPIE Vol 10241, (2017)
Polarization dependence of bulk ion acceleration from ultrathin foils irradiated by high intensity, ultrashort laser pulses
Scullion C., Doria D., Romagnani L., Sgattoni A., Naughton K., Symes D.R., McKenna P., Macchi A., Zepf M., Kar S., Borghesi M.
Phys. Rev. Lett., pp. 1-6, (2017)

more publications

Professional activities

EPSRC, Swindon (External organisation)
External examiner for PhD candidate at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris
External Examiner
STFC - Central Laser Facility
Visiting researcher
CHILI-2016 Conference on High Intensity Lasers and attosecond science
Invited speaker
Invited talk - 17th International Conference on Laser-Optics 2016
Invited speaker
Creativity at Home workshop

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Frazer, Timothy
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator) Frazer, Timothy (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 01-Apr-2021
EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Sponsorship Award 2017 (GCRF) / R171051-106
Hidding, Bernhard (Principal Investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jul-2017 - 31-Mar-2018
Nonlinear Optics and Dynamics in Relativistically Transparent Plasmas
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) King, Martin (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2017 - 31-Jul-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Carnell, Katie
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Sep-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Davidson, Zoe
Gray, Ross (Principal Investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Davidson, Zoe (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Jarrett, Jonathan
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Jarrett, Jonathan (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020

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