Quasi Monoenergetic Compton X-Ray Source from Laser Wakefield Accelerated Electrons

Dr. Nathan Powers
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Brigham Young University


Laser wakefield accelerators seek to create a source of short pulse x-ray radiation.  The compact size and relatively low-cost of such sources make them advantageous to certain applications. However, control and adjustability of beam characteristics is another important factor for potential applications. I will discuss the development of a quasi monoenergetic and tunable x-ray beam using inverse-Compton scattering of laser wakefield accelerated electrons. A dual-stage gas jet is used to control the beam energy.

Dr. Nathan Powers is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Brigham Young University, responsible for developing, maintaining, and teaching effective lab courses. He focuses on teaching students to construct their own knowledge without the need of outside authority. Prior to working for BYU, Nathan worked at KLA-Tencor, as an Applications Engineer, where he worked on auto-identification of manufacturing defects on computer chips using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Nathan received his PhD in Physics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he developed a quasi monoenergetic and tunable X-ray source by Compton scattering from laser wakefield accelerated (LWFA) e-beams. He received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from Brigham Young University.