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.



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

Joohwan Kim publishes proton transport study

December 3, 2018

A team led by Center for Energy Research scientists Chris McGuffey, Joohwan Kim, and Prof. Farhat Beg have shown that proton beams, which are well-studied products of intense lasers, can locally heat a gold sample to over 35 eV, or 400,000 degrees. But, surprisingly, the heating strongly depended on what material was in front of the gold, suggesting that the energy lost by the beam in the hot materials is far different from what existing cold models predict. The experiment was carried out at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Trident Laser at Los Alamos National Laboratory with collaborators at Trident, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Atomics, the University of Alberta, and the Ohio State University.

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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.