Berkeley Lab

BELLA People: Csaba Tóth

ctoth_145pxStaff Scientist and
Operations Coordinator, BELLA Center
1 Cyclotron Rd MS 71-259
Berkeley CA 94720
telephone: 510-486-5338

Ph.D., 1987 Physics & Quantum Electronics, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary.
M.Sc., 1987, Physics, Diploma with Honors, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary.

Csaba Tóth is a staff scientist and operations coordinator in the BELLA Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (which he joined in 2000). His research interests include high intensity light-matter interactions involving high peak power, ultrashort laser pulses; multiphoton processes; optical tunneling; higher-order optical harmonic generation; the development of new X-ray and soft X-ray sources; and their application for imaging and time-resolved diffraction and absorption. He has more than 30 years of experience in the field of generation and measurement techniques of ultrashort light pulses in the nano-, pico-, femto- and attosecond time scales.

Since 2000 his research has been focused on laser-plasma interactions, acceleration of electrons and other charged particles by high power laser pulses and plasma waves, and on the design and development of multi-terawatt chirped pulse amplification (CPA) laser systems. Recently he has been involved in the design, commissioning and operation of the BELLA Laser, a PW, 1 Hz laser system at LBNL.

Professional experience

2014- : Operations Coordinator, BELLA Center (formerly LOASIS Program), LBNL.

10/2007 – 2014: Deputy Head for Operations, LOASIS Program, LBNL.

3/2009 – 1/2013: Laser Systems WBS Project Manager, BELLA Project, LBNL.

11/2000 – present: Staff scientist, BELLA Center (formerly LOASIS Program), LBNL.

6/1997 – 10/2000: Project Scientist, Wilson Group of University of California at San Diego.

1/1995 – 6/1997: Research Associate, Rice University, ECE Dept., Houston, TX.

11/1993 – 1/1995: Scientific Coworker, Research Institute for Solid State Physics, Budapest, Hungary.

11/1992 – 10/1993: Research Associate, Rice University, ECE Dept., Houston, TX.

9/1987 – 10/1992: Scientific Coworker, Research Inst. for Solid State Physics, Budapest, Hungary.

9/1983 – 8/1987: Doctoral Fellow & Scientific Assistant Coworker, Research Inst. for Solid State Physics, Budapest, Hungary.


  • 2010: John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research
    “For experiments and theory leading to the demonstration of high-quality electron beams from laser-plasma accelerators.”
  • 2007: Outstanding Performance Award, LBNL.
  • 2005: Outstanding Performance Award, LBNL.
  • 1990: George Soros Fellowship for Young Scientists
  • 1990: Jánossy Award of the Central Research Institute for Physics, Budapest, Hungary
  • 1987: Summa cum laude doctoral thesis, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary.
  • 1983: Diploma with honors in physics, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary.
  • 1982: Hungarian Republic Scholarship for Outstanding Students, Ministry of Education, Hungary.
  • 1982: Ortvay Award in Problem Solving, Ministry of Education, Hungary.

Selected publications

W.P. Leemans, R. Duarte, E. Esarey, S. Fournier, C.G.R. Geddes, D. Lockhart, C.B. Schroeder, C. Toth, J.-L. Vay, and S. Zimmermann, “The BErkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA): A 10 GeV Laser Plasma Accelerator,” in Advanced Accelerator Concepts, American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings 1299, edited by S.H. Gold and G.S. Nusinovich (AIP Press, Melville, NY, 2010) pp. 3-11. See also this press release.

W.P. Leemans, B. Nagler, A.J. Gonsalves, Cs. Toth, K. Nakamura,3, C.G.R. Geddes, E. Esarey, C.B. Schroeder, and S.M. Hooker, “GeV electron beams from a centimetre-scale accelerator,” Nature Physics 2, pp. 696-699 (2006); LBNL-60105.

C.G.R. Geddes, Cs. Toth, J. van Tilborg, E. Esarey, C.B. Schroeder, D. Bruhwiler, C. Nieter, J. Cary, W.P. Leemans,”High-quality electron beams from a laser wakefield accelerator using plasma-channel guiding,” Nature 431 (2004), pp. 538-541; LBNL-55732. See also the physics overview by T. Katsouleas in “Electrons hang ten on laser wake,” News and Views, Nature 431 (30 September 2004), pp. 515-6.

C.W. Siders, A. Cavalleri, K. Sokolowski-Tinten, Cs. Tóth, T. Guo, M. Kammler, M. Horn von Hoegen, K.R. Wilson, D. von der Linde, and C.P.J. Barty, “Detection of nonthermal melting by ultrafast X-ray diffraction,” Science 286 (1999), pp. 1340-44.

Gy. Farkas, Cs. Tóth, “Proposal for attosecond light pulse generation using multiple harmonic conversion processes in rare gases,” Physics Letters A 168 (1992), pp. 447-450.