Dr Matthew Levy research involves shining the most powerful light sources ever created on earth -- petawatt lasers -- onto dense materials and studying the rich absorption processes by which the laser energy is converted into matter energy. Extreme states of matter are typically created in such an interaction, having temperatures exceeding 10 million degrees Celsius and pressures exceeding one billion earth atmospheres. Suitably harnessed, these conditions open the way to new cancer therapies, possible fusion energy sources, as well as many studies of fundamental high field physics.
At Oxford Levy holds a Royal Society grant to develop one such study -- to devise new methods to harness the immensely strong electromagnetic fields comprising high power laser light in order to test exotic aspects of the nonlinear quantum vacuum in the laboratory. Supporting these efforts, he holds concurrent appointments as Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, Affiliated Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Member of the Jupiter Laser Facility User Group Executive Committee, and Visiting Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Most recently, Levy was inaugurated as a member of the Global Young Academy.