Since October of 2003, the High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) Group at UC San Diego has been pursuing research on inertial confinement fusion (ICF), fast ignition, laser matter interactions, wire array z-pinches, x-pinches and neutron sources. The group has a strong simulation component and has access to Particle-in-Cell (PIC) (LSP and Osiris), radiation-hydrodynamic (H2D), and 3D resistive Magneto-Hydrodynamic (MHD) codes. These codes are used to design and interpret experiments carried out both at National Laboratories and other user facilities, and also in the HEDP laboratory at UCSD.

Farhat Beg

Our Group is led by Farhat Beg, a professor in UCSD's MAE Department & the Director of the Center for Energy Research.


Mechanical & Aerospace

The High Energy Density Physics Group is based in UC San Diego's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.


Center for Energy Research

We are a member of the Center for Energy Research, one of the largest organized research units at UC San Diego.



UC San Diego experimental team featured in Jupiter Laser Facility spotlight

June 4, 2018

The UC San Diego HEDP group frequently leads and participates in experiments at the Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) which operates three laser platforms at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Through experiments at JLF, new graduate students build hands-on skills while senior students and postdocs gain project leadership experience. In a recent experiment centered on x-ray spectroscopy of warm plasmas, the team was featured in a spotlight video produced by the lab.

Watch the video here

Ph. D. Candidate Rui Hua awarded poster prize at OLUG Workshop

April 27, 2018

Rui Hua of the UC San Diego HEDP group was awarded 2nd best poster among students presenting their work at the annual Omega Laser Facility Users Group Workshop. Rui is a Ph. D. candidate under Prof. Farhat Beg's advisement. Her thesis is focusing on the study of the self generated field structure at a strong shock front. In spite of the traditional understanding of a shock, where electric field is produced due to the electron pressure gradient, the work she led found that the self-generated magnetic field plays the most critical role from a recent shot on the Omega-EP laser. Rui's attendence was made possible by support from the US DOE/NNSA.

See the OLUG program here

UC San Diego Center for Energy Research, LPPFusion to Collaborate on Fusion Energy Research

October 5, 2017

An energy source that is safe, clean, inexhaustible, cheaper than any available today and that can be delivered by small, decentralized units would change the world. That ideal energy source is the goal of a new collaboration between the Center for Energy Research (CER) at UC San Diego and LPPFusion, Inc. a private company in Middlesex, NJ. The collaboration, formalized with an agreement October 2, aims at the development of the dense plasma focus device for fusion energy.

Read press release here


The HEDP group performs computer simulations and experiments at cutting edge laser facilities around the world, in order to study interactions of ultraintense lasers with solid and warm dense targets.