The unique combination of the LCLS x-ray laser with high-power nanosecond and femtosecond laser beams at the Matter of Extreme Conditions allows precision pump-probe studies of high energy density plasmas. For this purpose, we are building a new 200 TW laser system to measure and uncover the underlying physics mechanism that determine the interaction of ultra intense laser beams with matter. The repetition rate and pulse width provide a natural match to the LCLS x-ray capabilities allowing pump-probe experiments with ultrahigh temporal resolution with very high data throughput with shot rates ranging from about 1 shot/min at 200 TW to about 5 Hz at 30 TW. In this talk we will present first Thomson scattering results with unprecedented spectral, wavenumber and temporal resolution in shock compressed matter and will discuss future experiments aimed at measuring the physical properties of dense plasmas.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

PDF Article