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PHELIX and Plasmaphysics Program Advisory Committee (PPAC)

The PHELIX and Plasmaphysics Program Advisory Committee (PPAC, former PHELIX Committee) is an international program advisory committee of GSI. It gives advice to the GSI Directorate on selecting experiment proposals that are submitted by individual users or user groups in the field of plasma physics with ions and lasers. Following periodic calls for proposals, the PPAC meets approx. once every year; it evaluates the experiment proposals on the basis of scientific merit and technical feasibility, and makes recommendations on the amount of beam time to be allotted.


Database of granted beam time

For information on remaining shifts/proposals of approved experiments your local contact person can search a database of active proposals. Entries are updated at the end of each beam time block.

Next PPAC Meeting

Date of the next (regular) PPAC15 meeting: October 5-6, 2020

Call for Proposals and Proposal Submission


Webform for submitting proposals to PPAC is working again (June 29, 2020)!

After an IT problem, beamtime proposals can again be submitted to the PPAC using the webform. We expect all data entered before the breakdown to be saved, however, please confirm your entries in the webform. For proposals submitted before Wed., June 24, please get in contact with Karin Füssel.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused!


The 'Call for Proposals' for experiments with PHELIX (laser) and/or UNILAC (ions) for the PPAC meeting on 5 - 6 October 2020: is open now. Deadline is July 27, 2020. Details how to submit are given below.


For information on submission of PHELIX proposals see: Information for PHELIX users.

For information on beamtime planning and scheduling at PHELIX see: Beamtime Planning at PHELIX.


Please note: This year, for plasma physics experiments with SIS18 proposals had to be submitted within the 'Call for Proposals' published on the G-PAC webpage. This deadline is closed since June 10, 2020.


Please note that a 'Call for Proposals' for beamtime at the high-energy/high-power laser PHELIX from summer 2021 to spring 2022 is open now. Deadline for submission is July 27, 2020.

Groups working in the fields of atomic physics, plasma physics, extreme matter physics, and laser-particle acceleration are invited to submit research proposals for beamtime at PHELIX. As experimental areas, the stations at PHELIX and Z6 are available. In total, approx. 170 shifts of PHELIX beamtime can be offered, which correspond to roughly 8 to 9 experiments. (No beam time at SIS18 will be granted in this call.) Experiments granted in this call will run in the above mentioned period after which the granted shifts will expire. In their meeting on October 5-6, 2020, the PHELIX and Plasmaphysics Program Advisory Committee (PPAC) will discuss the submitted proposals with a clear focus on scientific excellence and strategic issues. Questions arising will be communicated to the proposal’s spokesperson with a preliminary evaluation, asking for a response within days. Accordingly, the PPAC will form their evaluation of proposals and recommend the directorate granting beam time to the proposed experiments.

Please note that for experiments using SIS18 (target station HHT) proposals had to be submitted exclusively via the 'Call' of G-PAC and this respective webform; this 'call' is closed since June 10, 2020.

Those scheduled experiments, which were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, should be resubmitted to the PPAC with their former experiment proposal and a short status report (not more than one page) which will be re-evaluated in terms of readiness and feasibility by the PPAC.


Submission of Proposals

Proposals for the above mentioned period have to be submitted via the PPAC by completing the PPAC webform  until July 27, 2020. Into this webform a maximum 2 MB-pdf file (not exceeding 10 printed pages) should be uploaded, summarizing the scientific justification and relevant technical details for the proposed experiment. For details on this uploaded proposal's structure and content please see below. Editing the application in the webform can be interrupted any time, and continued and finally submitted in a later session; you will receive an entrance key upon first data input. Please contact your local contact person for technical questions and feasibility of your planned experiment prior to submitting a proposal, and note that investments necessary for running the experiment cannot be covered by GSI.


Applicants eligible to the European program 'Laserlab Europe' are encouraged to submit their applications additionally through Laserlab Europe for obtaining financial support. Note that the application will be supported through the 5th installment of Laserlab: Laserlab V offers financial support for researchers from Europe and to some extend also for users from non-EU countries.


Contact persons for the 'Call' are:

Proposal submission and meeting of the PPAC: Karin Füssel

Access and support through Laserlab Europe: Bernhard Zielbauer 

Please note that a proposal consists of the following parts: A) the online questionnaire, B) the proposal text itself.

A) Online Questionnaire: Please complete the online webform incl. an upload of the proposal itself. In the webform, please use the button "Back to menu" to return to the main menu, not your browser's back button. Text in free text fields should be short (!), e.g. in the experiment's title not exceeding 115 characters (incl. blanks). Please adhere to indications given in the webform.

B) The Proposal Text (max. 2 MB) should be structured and contain the following information:

Cover Sheet (1 page):

  • Title,
  • Principal investigator (PI) (name, E-mail address, mailing address),
  • Local Contact Person,
  • Participants,
  • Is this proposal part of a PhD thesis project?
  • Beamtime requested for PHELIX and/or ion beam (Target Station),
  • Continuation of a previous proposal (give experiment ID),
  •  Main experimental/scientific goal(s) (max. 4-5 lines),
  • Three major publications of the PI,
  • Two publications relevant to the proposal (if any exist), incl. submitted publications (in particular, for continuation request);

Obligatory Content and Structure of Proposal Text (max. 9 pages):

  1. Abstract (incl. references on the "state of art"),
  2. Introduction to the topic state of the art,
  3. New approach in this proposal & Relevance to the field of research,
  4. Expected results & Accuracy of planned measurement (incl. error bars),
  5. Experimental design and methods incl. sketch of set-up,
  6. Justification of beamtime request,
  7. Literature

For a continuation request, a brief status report of the previous as well as an outline of the future experiment should be given. For previously rejected proposal with recommednatoin to resubmit improved version: what has been modified in the proposal.

PHELIX can provide access for laser experiments in the PHELIX hall and alternatively at the Z6 target station. For technical information on the facilities, please refer to the webpage of the PHELIX laser system or contact the respective person responsible for the target station of interest:

PHELIX petawatt target area (PTA, laser bay): B. Zielbauer, C. Brabetz, S. Zähter

Z6 target area: A. Blazevic, D. Schumacher 

Details on the laser and laser diagnostics: V. Bagnoud


Current Laser and Experimental parameters


 Laser Energy: the energy of the laser is adjusted depending on the configuration.

  •  At PTA, short pulses with up to 150 J in combination with an f = 40 cm, 45° parabola are available.
  • At PTA, short pulses with up to 80 J in combination with an f =150cm, 90° parabola are available.
  • At Z6, long (1 – 10 ns) pulses with an energy of about 180 J (depending on pulse length) at 527 nm are available with a f=4 m focusing lens. Two random phase plates creating top-hat foci of 1 mm or 0.5 mm diameter are available.
  • At Z6, short pulses of 15 J at 1054 nm and a pulse duration of 500 fs are also available but not in parallel with the nanosecond beam.


Pulse profiles

  •  The pulse duration at PHELIX is 500 fs by default. The pulse duration can be stretched to a few ps with on-line measurement. Above 3 ps, the pulse duration is set and calibrated off-line, but cannot be verified on-line.
  • The temporal contrast of PHELIX is adjustable between 10-7 and 10-11 (10-12 best effort). By default the contrast will be set to10-7. The higher contrast values are obtained with a specific contrast boosting module that represents the cutting edge of laser technology. It is not a standard parameter and the proposal must explicitly request its use.
  • A programmable nanosecond frontend allows for pulses with a deterministic pulse profile with 1 ns resolution within a 10ns window.
  • At PTA, a combination of the long and the short pulse can be requested to introduce a fully controllable pedestal. However, the timing jitter between the two frontends will be at least +/- 200 ps (peak-to-peak).


Further remarks

  •  At PTA, it is possible to introduce apertures to create a double beam. In such a case, the total energy in both beams equals 60 J.
  •  At Z6, a VISAR system (660nm, 70ns) is available.


Members of the PPAC

  • PD Dr. Peter Thirolf (Chair)
    Technical University Munich, Germany
  • Dr. Brigitte Cros
    CNRS, Lab. de Physique des Gaz et des Plasmas (LPGP), Univ. Paris-Sud, France
  • Prof. Dr. Igor V. Lomonosov (HED@FAIR Collaboration)
    Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics RAS (IPCP), Moscow region, Russia
  • Prof. Dr. Kurt Schoenberg (HED@FAIR Collaboration)
    Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schramm
    Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf,Germany

PPAC Scientific Secretary

Dr. Karin Füssel

GSI, Darmstadt

Phone: +49-6159-71 1441

Fax: +49-6159-71 2991

contact by E-Mail to: K.Fuessel(at)


Previous PPAC-Meetings

PPAC14 on July 25-26, 2019: documents of the meeting (for PPAC members only)

PPAC13 on October 11-12, 2018

PHELIX Committee 12 on August 14-15, 2017

PHELIX Committee 11 on July 21-22, 2016

PHELIX Committee 10 on September 28, 2015

PHELIX Committee 09 on December 4-5, 2014

PHELIX Committee 08 on March 13-14, 2014

PHELIX Committee 07 on January 9-10, 2013

PPAC06 on November 17/18, 2011

PPAC05 on November 8/9, 2010

PPAC04 on September 29/30, 2009

PPAC03 (via E-mail circulation), Winter 2008/09

PPAC Roadmap Meeting, December 13, 2006

PPAC02 on April 3/4, 2006

PPAC01 on September 22-24, 2004


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