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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 plasmaphysics 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.

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

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

For information on remaining shifts of approved experiments local contact persons can search a database. Entries here are updated after each ion beam time block.

Call for Proposals

Please note that a 'Call for Proposals' for beamtime at the high-energy/high-power laser PHELIX from March 2020 to June 2021 is open now. Deadline for submission is May 27, 2019.

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. 200 shifts of PHELIX beamtime can be offered which correspond to roughly 10 experiments. (No beam time at UNILAC/SIS18 can be granted.) Experiments granted in this call will run in the above mentioned period after which the granted shifts will expire. In their meeting on 25.-26. July 2019, 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.


Submission of Proposals

Proposals for the above mentioned period can be submitted via the PPAC by completing the PPAC webform. 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 4th installment of Laserlab: "Laserlab IV". Laserlab IV offers financial support for researchers from Europe and since 2016 for users from non-EU countries to some extent.


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. the supplement on safety aspects and 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 follow indications given in the webform.

B) The Proposal should be structured and contain the following information:

Cover Sheet (1 page): Title, Spokesperson (name, E-mail address, mailing address), Local Contact Person, Target Station, Main experimental/Scientific goal(s) (max. 4-5 lines), indication whether Continuation of a previous proposal (give experiment number), and Number of Shifts Requested (main or parasitic);

Proposal Text (max. 9 pages): Title, Spokesperson, Participants; Abstract;

Scientific Context and Motivation (state-of-the-art), Previous experiments and Background (incl. theory);  

Objectives and Expected Results; Experimental Methods, New Approach in this proposal; Set-up (incl. a technical drawing or sketch), Technical Requirements, Justification of beamtime request; For a continuation request, a brief status report of the previous as well as an outline of the future experiment should be given.

3 major publications of the spokesperson, References;

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

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 160 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 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 +/- 500 ps.


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 80 J.
  •  At Z6, a VISAR system (660nm, 70ns) is available.


PPAC Members

  • 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
  • PD Dr. Peter Thirolf (Chair)
    Department of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Vladimir Tikhonchuk
    University of Bordeaux, Talence, France

PPAC Secretary

Dr. Karin Füssel

GSI, Darmstadt

Phone: +49-6159-71 1441

Fax: +49-6159-71 2991

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


Next PPAC Meeting

Date of the next PPAC14 meeting: 25.-26. July 2019

For the Committee Members to access related documents please see: (link to be established)

Previous Meetings

PHELIX Committee 13 on October 11-12, 2018: documents of the meeting (for PPAC members only)

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