Current and Future Research

As we investigate the non-linear physics of off-equilibrium motion, many new opportunities for discovery appear.  Listed below are areas of current interest.  We welcome the participation of graduate students and PhD researchers on these topics, or on other topics in multi-scale physics which they find interesting.

  1. Sonoluminescence from molten salts
  2. Cavitation within gel-like materials
  3. Theory and experiment aimed at defining the intermediate model of tribo-x-ray emission
  4. Enhanced neutron emission from dense plasma focus
  5. Ion-acoustic modes of long-lived dense plasmas

Shockwaves from Dense Sparks


Streak camera images reveal the picosecond to nanosecond formation and expansion timescales of spark discharges in high-pressure gases.  In this image, blackbody plasma (yellow) expands at supersonic velocities and radiate shockwaves (dark bands) as their expansion slows.

What’s New

Unique in the Universe: Spectacles with Large  Diamond Lenses

Diamond Spectacles

Diamond spectacles with lenses cut hundreds of years ago by a method without precedent in modern times.  Insights gained by studying these gemstones suggest a method for producing large atomically flat stress free surfaces.  The scale bars are 10 mm.  To learn more, see the recently published article by J. Hird et al.

Diamond Cross-section

Fluorescent topographs showing that the mm thick diamonds are mirror images of each other.

Here’s how it’s done.  The 2 flat diamond panes are cleaved from a single piece that is only 3 mm thick.  The thinness of the diamond causes the crack tip, where energy is focused, to synchronize its motion with the normally faster speed of sound to create a perfect 1 inch diameter facet!