The Group of Lasers and Plasmas (GoLP) is focused on research and advanced training in Plasma Physics, Advanced Photonics and Advanced Computing, through research in frontier questions, grounded on a culture of entrepreneurship, creativity, and international collaboration, along with the outstanding quality of our members and the commitment to the scientific and technological development of Portugal and Europe. Our aim is to be recognized as one of the best research groups in our field through the reputation of our researchers, the quality of our students, and the successes of our alumni.

In our vision, GoLP assumes a leading role in our fields, is a central hub for new ideas/approaches, exciting discoveries/developments and is considered to be a magnet for outstanding students, post-docs and researchers. Furthermore, it provides an exciting research environment similar to the best and sustains its scientific breakthroughs through a unique interplay between theory, simulation and experiments.

Group Leader: Luís Oliveira e Silva


    At GoLP, we are committed to continuously “raising the bar” and to pursue GoLP’s mission.

    The research program at GoLP is focused on a few of the most challenging science questions in our field, as identified in several prospective surveys conducted by the National Academy of Sciences USA (e.g. Plasma 2010), DOE/NNSA (NIF Science 2012), and the EU (e.g. PRACE or the Exascale Software Initiative):

  • How does matter behave in extreme electromagnetic fields, either at ultra-relativistic intensities, ultra-short timescales or at extremely hard wavelengths?
  • Can one use plasma acceleration and other plasma-based techniques to develop compact accelerators for use at the energy frontier, in medicine, in probing materials, and in novel light sources for bioimaging?
  • What are the mechanisms for particle acceleration in relativistic shocks and what can we learn about these cosmic accelerators in a laboratory experiment?
  • Can advanced ignition concepts be used to develop inertial fusion energy?
  • What are the enabling technologies to construct a laser with a peak power of over 1 Exawatt that would allow us to study matter subject to unprecedented forces?
  • What are the conditions for the creation of pair plasmas in the laboratory under the action of ultra intense fields and what is the role of the self-consistent collective dynamics of such plasmas, in laboratory and in astrophysics?
  • Can we tailor the properties of plasmas such that they exhibit exotic electromagnetic properties?


Luís Oliveira e Silva, Group Leader:

  luis.silva at