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.



David Housley's paper on the effect of insulator surface on the pinch dynamics and x-ray production of a Ne-filled dense plasma focus has been selected as Journal of Applied Physics Editor's pick.

May 13, 2021

A team composed of Center for Energy Research scientists led by Prof. Farhat Beg, with collaboration from scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have shown that local variations in the insulator surface of a Ne-filled Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) decrease the spatial uniformity of the sheath, leading to an azimuthally asymmetric focus, reduced electron densities, and, ultimately, degraded x-ray production. This work publish by the first author David Housley in Journal of Applied Physics has been selected as Editor's pick.

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Professor Beg partners with JHU in new center

April 22, 2020

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is awarding nearly $30 million over five years to establish the Materials Science in Extreme Environments University Research Alliance (MSEE URA), a center directed by Tim Weihs of Johns Hopkins University. The alliance of 18 institutions includes four permanent universities, each with a technical expert who will work collaboratively with Weihs to manage the consortium. Among these experts, CER's Farhat Beg will serve as a lead in photon-material interactions.

Read the press release

Shu Zhang awarded poster prize

February 27, 2020

Ph.D. student Shu Zhang was awarded one of the prizes for his poster Pump-Depletion Dynamics and Saturation of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering in Shock Ignition Relevant Experiments at the 2020 Stewardship Science Academic Programs (SSAP) Annual Review Symposium held in Washington, DC. This year the Symposium was attended by more than 350.

Visit the SSAP site


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.