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’s Center of Excellence Receives $12.5 Million from DOE

June 22, 2023

The Center for Matter Under Extreme Conditions received $12.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to maintain one of nine national centers for excellence at UC San Diego. The funds support advancing one of the most complex areas of science while training the next generation of high-energy density scientists.

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A recent publication by Mathew Polek was featured on the front cover of Journal of Applied Physics and on AIPP showcase on Kudos.

May 28, 2023

The study "Experimental and theoretical comparison of ion properties from nanosecond laser-produced plasmas of metal targets", explores the processes occurring within a laser produced plasma through experimental measurements of ion properties and analytical modeling. This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

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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.

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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.