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Journal articleDatta R, Angel J, Greenly JB, et al., 2023,
Plasma flows during the ablation stage of an over-massed pulsed-power-driven exploding planar wire array, Physics of Plasmas, Vol: 30, ISSN: 1070-664X
We characterize the plasma flows generated during the ablation stage of an over-massed exploding planar wire array, fielded on the COBRA pulsed-power facility (1 MA peak current, 250 ns rise time). The planar wire array is designed to provide a driving magnetic field ( 80 - 100 T) and current per wire distribution (about 60 kA), similar to that in a 10 MA cylindrical exploding wire array fielded on the Z machine. Over-massing the arrays enables continuous plasma ablation over the duration of the experiment without implosion. The requirement to over-mass on the Z machine necessitates wires with diameters of 75 - 100 μ m , which are thicker than wires usually fielded on wire array experiments. To test ablation with thicker wires, we perform a parametric study by varying the initial wire diameter between 33 and 100 μm. The largest wire diameter (100 μm) array exhibits early closure of the cathode-wire gap, while the gap remains open over the duration of the experiment for wire diameters between 33 and 75 μm. Laser plasma interferometry and time-gated extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) imaging are used to probe the plasma flows ablating from the wires. The plasma flows from the wires converge to generate a pinch, which appears as a fast-moving ( V ≈ 100 kms − 1 ) column of increased plasma density ( n ¯ e ≈ 2 × 10 18 cm − 3 ) and strong XUV emission. Finally, we compare the results with three-dimensional resistive-magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations performed using the code GORGON, the results of which reproduce the dynamics of the experiment reasonably well.
Journal articleCrilly AJ, Niasse NPL, Fraser AR, et al., 2023,
SpK is part of the numerical codebase at Imperial College London used to model high energy density physics (HEDP) experiments. SpK is an efficient atomic and microphysics code used to perform detailed configuration accounting calculations of electronic and ionic stage populations, opacities and emissivities for use in post-processing and radiation hydrodynamics simulations. This is done using screened hydrogenic atomic data supplemented by the NIST energy level database. An extended Saha model solves for chemical equilibrium with extensions for non-ideal physics, such as ionisation potential depression, and non thermal equilibrium corrections. A tree-heap (treap) data structure is used to store spectral data, such as opacity, which is dynamic thus allowing easy insertion of points around spectral lines without a-priori knowledge of the ion stage populations. Results from SpK are compared to other codes and descriptions of radiation transport solutions which use SpK data are given. The treap data structure and SpK’s computational efficiency allows inline post-processing of 3D hydrodynamics simulations with a dynamically evolving spectrum stored in a treap.
Journal articleHoarty DJ, Morton J, Rougier JC, et al., 2023,
Radiation burnthrough measurements to infer opacity at conditions close to the solar radiative zone–convective zone boundary, Physics of Plasmas, Vol: 30, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 1070-664X
Recent measurements at the Sandia National Laboratory of the x-ray transmission of iron plasma have inferred opacities much higher than predicted by theory, which casts doubt on modeling of iron x-ray radiative opacity at conditions close to the solar convective zone-radiative zone boundary. An increased radiative opacity of the solar mixture, in particular iron, is a possible explanation for the disagreement in the position of the solar convection zone-radiative zone boundary as measured by helioseismology and predicted by modeling using the most recent photosphere analysis of the elemental composition. Here, we present data from radiation burnthrough experiments, which do not support a large increase in the opacity of iron at conditions close to the base of the solar convection zone and provide a constraint on the possible values of both the mean opacity and the opacity in the x-ray range of the Sandia experiments. The data agree with opacity values from current state-of-the-art opacity modeling using the CASSANDRA opacity code.
Journal articleWatt RA, Rose SJ, Kettle B, et al., 2023,
A linear Breit-Wheeler module for the code geant4 has been developed. This allows signal-to-noise ratio calculations of linear Breit-Wheeler detection experiments to be performed within a single framework. The interaction between two photon sources is modeled by treating one as a static field, then photons from the second source are sampled and tracked through the field. To increase the efficiency of the module, we have used a Gaussian process regression, which can lead to an increase in the calculation rate by a factor of up to 1000. To demonstrate the capabilities of this module, we use it to perform a parameter scan, modeling an experiment based on that recently reported by Kettle et al. [New J. Phys. 23, 115006 (2021)]. We show that colliding 50-fs duration γ rays, produced through bremsstrahlung emission of a 100 pC, 2-GeV laser wakefield accelerator beam, with a 50-ps x-ray field, generated by a germanium burn-through foil heated to temperatures >150 eV, this experiment is capable of producing >1 Breit-Wheeler pair per shot.
Journal articleStrucka J, Lukic B, Koerner M, et al., 2023,
We present a new technique for the investigation of shock-driven hydrodynamic phenomena in gases, liquids, and solids in arbitrary geometries. The technique consists of a pulsed power-driven resistive wire array explosion in combination with multi-MHz synchrotron radiography. Compared to commonly used techniques, it offers multiple advantages: (1) the shockwave geometry can be shaped to the requirements of the experiment, (2) the pressure (P > 300 MPa) generated by the exploding wires enables the use of liquid and solid hydrodynamic targets with well-characterized initial conditions (ICs), (3) the multi-MHz radiography enables data acquisition to occur within a single experiment, eliminating uncertainties regarding repeatability of the ICs and subsequent dynamics, and (4) the radiographic measurements enable estimation of compression ratios from the x-ray attenuation. In addition, the use of a synchrotron x-ray source allows the hydrodynamic samples to be volumetrically characterized at a high spatial resolution with synchrotron-based microtomography. This experimental technique is demonstrated by performing a planar Richtmyer–Meshkov instability (RMI) experiment on an aerogel–water interface characterized by Atwood number A 0 ∼ − 0.8 and Mach number M ∼ 1.5. The qualitative and quantitative features of the experiment are discussed, including the energy deposition into the exploding wires, shockwave generation, compression of the interface, startup phase of the instability, and asymptotic growth consistent with Richtmyer's impulsive theory. Additional effects unique to liquids and solids—such as cavitation bubbles caused by rarefaction flows or initial jetting due to small perturbations—are observed. It is also demonstrated that the technique is not shape dependent by driving a cylindrically convergent RMI experiment.
Journal articleGusev AI, Lavrinovich I, Bland S, et al., 2023,
New SOS diode pumping circuit based on an all-solid-state spiral generator for high-voltage nanosecond applications, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0093-3813
Semiconductor opening switch (SOS) diodes are capable to switch currents with a density of more than 1 kA/cm 2 and withstand nanosecond pulses with an amplitude of up to 1 MV. SOS diodes, however, require a specific pumping circuit that must simultaneously provide forward and reverse pumping currents with a time of ∼ 500 and ∼ 100 ns, respectively. Such a pumping circuit with energies > 1 J typically requires a gas-discharge switch or a low-efficient solid-state solution. This study proposes a novel approach to pumping SOS diodes based on a spiral generator (SG) (also known as a vector inversion generator). Due to its wave characteristics, the SG produces a bipolar current discharge that meets the time duration and current amplitude required to pump an SOS diode. Moreover, the initial pulse from the spiral typically has a relatively low current amplitude compared to the opposite polarity secondary pulse, so the SOS diode can operate at very high efficiencies. This idea has been tested using an all-solid-state SG coupled with large-area SOS diodes (1 cm 2 ). With this combination, a voltage pulse of 62 kV having a rise time of only 11 ns was obtained on an open circuit load (3 pF, 1 M Ω ). The experiments were highly repeatable, with no damage to the components despite multiple tests. There is significant scope to further improve the results, with simple alterations to the SG.
Journal articleBreach O, Hatfield P, Rose S, 2022,
Inertial Confinement Fusion involves the implosion of a spherical capsule con-taining thermonuclear fuel. The implosion is driven by irradiating the outsideof the capsule by X-rays or by optical laser irradiation, where in each casethe highest uniformity of irradiation is sought. In this paper we consider thetheoretical problem of irradiation of a capsule by point sources of X-rays, andconfigurations which maximize uniformity are sought. By studying the root-mean-square deviation in terms of different order harmonic modes, we ratio-nalise the dependence of uniformity on distance d of the point sources fromthe centre of a capsule. After investigating simple configurations based onthe Platonic solids, we use a global optimisation algorithm (basin-hopping)to seek better arrangements. The optimum configurations are found to de-pend strongly on d; at certain values which minimise nonuniformity, theseinvolve grouping of sources on the vertices of octahedra or icosahedra, whichwe explain using a modal decomposition. The effect of uncertainties in bothposition and intensity is studied, and lastly we investigate the illuminationof a capsule whose radius is changing with time.
Journal articleBeesley JJ, Rose SJ, 2022,
This paper presents an analytic expression for the high-temperature limit of Breit-Wheeler pair production in a black-body field to lowest order in perturbation theory, of interest in early-universe cosmology. The limit is found to be a good approximation for temperatures above about three times the electron rest energy. It is also found that coupling to low-energy processes remains important at arbitrarily high temperatures, due to the exchange of a low-energy virtual fermion near the mass shell. This appears mathematically in the rate as a logarithmic factor of the photon temperature divided by the electron rest mass.
Journal articleLavrinovich I, Gusev AI, Bland S, et al., 2022,
Impact-ionization wave triggering of a thyristor enables it to switch significantly higher currents with much faster rise times ( dI/dt ) than through conventional triggering; indeed tests on commercial components demonstrate that both current and dI/dt can be increased an order of magnitude over their specified datasheet values by utilizing impact ionization. However, creating an impact ionization wave places stringent requirements on the generator used to trigger the thyristor—particularly the trigger pulse must have a voltage rise rate ( dV/dt ) of more than 1 kV/ns and an amplitude over twice the thyristors static breakdown voltage. Given the capacitance of a thyristor is relatively large, often hundreds of pF, this is difficult to achieve with many common triggering methods. In this study, we present a bespoke, cost-effective, trigger generator that has been developed based on spiral/vector inversion techniques coupled to an optimized sharpening circuit. Using this generator, both a 2-kV single thyristor and a 4-kV stack of two thyristors in series were triggered in the impact-ionization mode. The thyristors had a wafer diameter of 32 mm and capacitances of 370 pF. With a single thyristor 100 shots were performed with it switching a peak current of 1.25 kA and an associated dI/dt of 12 kA/ μs . With two thyristors, peak currents of 2.6 kA and with dI/dt of 25 kA/ μs were achieved. In all experiments no degradation of the semiconductor structure was observed. The work opens the way for developing very powerful, but still compact, solid-state trigger generators and larger pulsers for a wide range of pulsed power applications.
Journal articleSingh RL, White S, Charlwood M, et al., 2022,
We have employed the VULCAN laser facility to generate a laser plasma X-ray source for use in photoionization experiments. A nanosecond laser pulse with an intensity of order 1015 Wcm−2 was used to irradiate thin Ag or Sn foil targets coated onto a parylene substrate, and the L-shell emission in the 3.3–4.4 keV range was recorded for both the laser-irradiated and nonirradiated sides. Both the experimental and simulation results show higher laser to X-ray conversion yields for Ag compared with Sn, with our simulations indicating yields approximately a factor of two higher than those found in the experiments. Although detailed angular data were not available experimentally, the simulations indicate that the emission is quite isotropic on the laser-irradiated side but shows close to a cosine variation on the nonirradiated side of the target as seen experimentally in the previous work.
Journal articleMaler D, Efimov S, Liverts M, et al., 2022,
Journal articleHalliday JWD, Crilly A, Chittenden J, et al., 2022,
We present first results from a novel experimental platform which is able toaccess physics relevant to topics including indirect-drive magnetised ICF;laser energy deposition; various topics in atomic physics; and laboratoryastrophysics (for example the penetration of B-fields into HED plasmas). Thisplatform uses the X-Rays from a wire array Z-Pinch to irradiate a silicontarget, producing an outflow of ablated plasma. The ablated plasma expands intoambient, dynamically significant B-fields (~5 T) which are supported by thecurrent flowing through the Z-Pinch. The outflows have a well-defined(quasi-1D) morphology, enabling the study of fundamental processes typicallyonly available in more complex, integrated schemes. Experiments were fielded onthe MAGPIE pulsed-power generator (1.4 MA, 240 ns rise time). On this machine awire array Z-Pinch produces an X-Ray pulse carrying a total energy of ~15 kJover ~30 ns. This equates to an average brightness temperature of around 10 eVon-target.
Journal articleMcLean KW, Rose SJ, 2022,
We present an in-depth analysis of a Marshak radiation wave moving through an iron-oxide (Fe2O3) foamusing a 1D multigroup diffusive radiation transport model, MDART (Multigroup Diffusion Algorithm forRadiation Transport). We consider the consequences of under-resolving the group structure and addresshow this could lead to incorrect conclusions in the analysis of general supersonic radiation wave experiments. We also provide an analysis of the types of experimental outcome one may incorrectly link tophysical effects but are in fact due to poor simulation practice.
Journal articleNguyen TT, Breeze J, Masouros S, 2022,
Penetration of Energised Metal Fragments to Porcine Thoracic Tissues, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, ISSN: 0148-0731
Energised fragments from explosive devices have been the most common mechanism of injury to both military personnel and civilians in recent conflicts and terrorist attacks. Fragments that penetrate into the thoracic cavity are strongly associated with death due to the inherent vulnerability of the underlying structures. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of fragment-simulating projectiles (FSPs) to tissues of the thorax in order to identify the thresholds of impact velocity for perforation through these tissues and the resultant residual velocity of the FSPs. A gas-gun system was used to launch 0.78-g cylindrical and 1.13-g spherical FSPs at intact porcine thoracic tissues from different impact locations. The sternum and rib bones were the most resistant to perforation, followed by the scapula and intercostal muscle. For both FSPs, residual velocity following perforation was linearly proportional to impact velocity. These findings can be used in the development of numerical tools for predicting the medical outcome of explosive events, which in turn can inform the design of public infrastructure, of personal protection, and of medical emergency response.
Conference paperHalliday JWD, Crilly A, Chittenden J, et al., 2022,
In this talk we present measurements from a novel platform in which the X-Rays from a wire-array Z-Pinch irradiate a silicon target, producing an outflow of ablated silicon plasma. This ablated plasma expands into ambient, dynamically significant magnetic fields (B ∼ 5 T) which are supported by the current flowing through the Z-Pinch.
Journal articleStrucka J, Halliday JWD, Gheorghiu T, et al., 2022,
We describe the design and x-ray emission properties (temporal, spatial, and spectral) of Dry Pinch I, a portable X-pinch driver developed at Imperial College London. Dry Pinch I is a direct capacitor discharge device, 300 × 300 × 700 mm3 in size and ∼50 kg in mass, that can be used as an external driver for x-ray diagnostics in high-energy-density physics experiments. Among key findings, the device is shown to reliably produce 1.1 ± 0.3 ns long x-ray bursts that couple ∼50 mJ of energy into photon energies from 1 to 10 keV. The average shot-to-shot jitter of these bursts is found to be 10 ± 4.6 ns using a combination of x-ray and current diagnostics. The spatial extent of the x-ray hot spot from which the radiation emanates agrees with previously published results for X-pinches—suggesting a spot size of 10 ± 6 µm in the soft energy region (1–10 keV) and 190 ± 100 µm in the hard energy region (>10 keV). These characteristics mean that Dry Pinch I is ideally suited for use as a probe in experiments driven in the laboratory or at external facilities when more conventional sources of probing radiation are not available. At the same time, this is also the first detailed investigation of an X-pinch operating reliably at current rise rates of less than 1 kA/ns.
Journal articleHalliday JWD, Bland SN, Hare JD, et al., 2021,
A time-resolved imaging system for the diagnosis of x-ray self-emission in high energy density physics experiments, Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol: 92, Pages: 123507-123507, ISSN: 0034-6748
A diagnostic capable of recording spatially and temporally resolved x-ray self-emission data was developed to characterize experiments on the MAGPIE pulsed-power generator. The diagnostic used two separate imaging systems: a pinhole imaging system with two-dimensional spatial resolution and a slit imaging system with one-dimensional spatial resolution. The two-dimensional imaging system imaged light onto the image plate. The one-dimensional imaging system imaged light onto the same piece of image plate and a linear array of silicon photodiodes. This design allowed the cross-comparison of different images, allowing a picture of the spatial and temporal distribution of x-ray self-emission to be established. The design was tested in a series of pulsed-power-driven magnetic-reconnection experiments.
Journal articleTilikin IN, Shelkovenko TA, Pikuz SA, et al., 2021,
This paper demonstrates the possibility of using a new configuration of the hybrid X-pinch to produce a set of spatially and temporarily separate x-ray bursts that could be used for the radiography of dynamic events. To achieve this, a longer than normal wire is placed between the conical electrodes of the hybrid X-pinch, and a set of small spacers (fishing weights) is placed along the wire. Each subsection of the wire then acts as a unique X-pinch, producing its own radiation burst from a small (∼3 µm) spot. The timing between bursts is 20–50 ns, and each is <2 ns in duration. For comparison, if a longer wire is simply employed without spacers, hotspots of radiation occur in random positions and the time between any two bursts does not exceed 20 ns. Examples of two and three frame point-projection radiography of solid-state and plasma test objects are given.
Journal articleKettle B, Hollatz D, Gerstmayr E, et al., 2021,
We describe a laser–plasma platform for photon–photon collision experiments to measure fundamental quantum electrodynamic processes. As an example we describe using this platform to attempt to observe the linear Breit–Wheeler process. The platform has been developed using the Gemini laser facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. A laser Wakefield accelerator and a bremsstrahlung convertor are used to generate a collimated beam of photons with energies of hundreds of MeV, that collide with keV x-ray photons generated by a laser heated plasma target. To detect the pairs generated by the photon–photon collisions, a magnetic transport system has been developed which directs the pairs onto scintillation-based and hybrid silicon pixel single particle detectors (SPDs). We present commissioning results from an experimental campaign using this laser–plasma platform for photon–photon physics, demonstrating successful generation of both photon sources, characterisation of the magnetic transport system and calibration of the SPDs, and discuss the feasibility of this platform for the observation of the Breit–Wheeler process. The design of the platform will also serve as the basis for the investigation of strong-field quantum electrodynamic processes such as the nonlinear Breit–Wheeler and the Trident process, or eventually, photon–photon scattering.
Conference paperBaggott RA, Rose SJ, Mangles SPD, 2021,
The charge states of ions in dense plasmas fluctuate due to collisional ionization and recombination. In this work we show how, by modifying the ion interaction potential, these fluctuations can mediate energy exchange between the plasma electrons and ions. We also develop a theoretical framework for this novel electron-ion energy transfer mechanism.
Journal articleYan J, Parker S, Bland S, 2021,
High-voltage nanosecond pulses are widely used in scientific research, but their wider adoption in industry requires compact, cost-effective, and easy to use generators to be developed. This article presents the modeling and experimental investigations into one method of producing such pulses-a spiral generator with a solid-state-thyristor-based input switch. It includes how the pulses are formed within the spiral, why a high-speed input switch is required, and how the geometry of the spiral dictates its output characteristics and the effects of different loads. Using thyristors, often connected in series to increase the operating voltage of the spiral, enables the spiral generators to have low jitter, high repetition rate, and long lifetime. Modeling of the circuit used a combination of telegraph equations to account for the wave propagation along the spiral and a lumped circuit exchanging charge between the spiral and the input switch and load. The model is verified by the detailed experimental results with the relative error being <; 10% in most cases. The output voltage pulse was often observed to have an initial peak of much lower magnitude than the subsequent peak(s)-which can only be fully explained by considering wave propagation effects. Lower input switch inductance, shorter switching time, larger mean diameter of the spiral, and increasing the width of the copper tape that makes up the spiral can all increase the voltage multiplication efficiency. Although increasing the number of turns that makes up the spiral can increase the output voltage, it can also lower the multiplication efficiency. By understanding the effects of different geometries, the spiral can be optimized to drive different loads-three applications of such spiral generators are then presented-pulses with 10 kV amplitude and 10 kHz repetition rate for driving dielectric barrier discharge plasma, pulses with amplitude of 10 kV and 10 kV/ns rising rate for triggering of advanced solid-sta
Journal articleRose SJ, Hatfield PW, 2021,
Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) is a subject that has been studied for decades, because of its potential for clean energy generation. Although thermonuclear fusion has been achieved, the energy out has always been considerably less than the energy in, so high energy gain with a burning thermonuclear plasma is still some way off. A multitude of new science has come from the ICF programme that is relevant outside the field (typically in astrophysics). What we look at in this text is what new science can come from the much more extreme conditions that would be created in the laboratory if a burning ICF plasma could be created -- in terms of energy density the most extreme macroscopic environment ever created. We show that this could impact science from particle physics through astrophysics and on to cosmology. We also believe that the experiments that we propose here are only a small part of the science that will be opened up when a burning thermonuclear plasma is created in the laboratory.
Journal articleBaggott RA, Rose S, Mangles SPD, 2021,
The charge states of ions in dense plasmas fluctuate due to collisionalionization and recombination. Here we show how, by modifying the ioninteraction potential, these fluctuations can mediate energy exchange betweenthe plasma electrons and ions. Moreover, we develop a theory for this novelelectron-ion energy transfer mechanism. Calculations using a random walkapproach for the fluctuations suggest that the energy exchange rate from chargestate fluctuations could be comparable to direct electron-ion collisions. Thismechanism is, however, predicted to exhibit a complex dependence on thetemperature and ionization state of the plasma, which could contribute to ourunderstanding of significant variation in experimental measurements ofequilibration times.
Journal articleSpencer Kelly R, Hart LJF, Rose SJ, 2021,
We model the energy cost of producing muons for use in muon catalyzed fusion and show that by careful design the cost can be reduced by a factor of 2.5 below current values. This is done by recapturing the kinetic energy of waste particles and generating heat through tritium breeding. When put together with the modeling of muon catalyzed fusion we estimate that electrical output/electrical input of 14% can be achieved currently.
Journal articleMaler D, Efimov S, Rososhek A, et al., 2021,
Journal articleHatfield PW, Gaffney JA, Anderson GJ, et al., 2021,
High-energy-density physics is the field of physics concerned with studying matter at extremely high temperatures and densities. Such conditions produce highly nonlinear plasmas, in which several phenomena that can normally be treated independently of one another become strongly coupled. The study of these plasmas is important for our understanding of astrophysics, nuclear fusion and fundamental physics—however, the nonlinearities and strong couplings present in these extreme physical systems makes them very difficult to understand theoretically or to optimize experimentally. Here we argue that machine learning models and data-driven methods are in the process of reshaping our exploration of these extreme systems that have hitherto proved far too nonlinear for human researchers. From a fundamental perspective, our understanding can be improved by the way in which machine learning models can rapidly discover complex interactions in large datasets. From a practical point of view, the newest generation of extreme physics facilities can perform experiments multiple times a second (as opposed to approximately daily), thus moving away from human-based control towards automatic control based on real-time interpretation of diagnostic data and updates of the physics model. To make the most of these emerging opportunities, we suggest proposals for the community in terms of research design, training, best practice and support for synthetic diagnostics and data analysis.
Journal articleRankin I, Nguyen T, McMenemy L, et al., 2021,
Traumatic amputation has been one of the most defining injuries associated with explosive devices. An understanding of the mechanism of injury is essential in order to reduce its incidence and devastating consequences to the individual and their support network. In this study, traumatic amputation is reproduced using high-velocity environmental debris in an animal cadaveric model. The study findings are combined with previous work to describe fully the mechanism of injury as follows. The shock wave impacts with the casualty, followed by energised projectiles (environmental debris or fragmentation) carried by the blast. These cause skin and soft tissue injury, followed by skeletal trauma which compounds to produce segmental and multifragmental fractures. A critical injury point is reached, whereby the underlying integrity of both skeletal and soft tissues of the limb has been compromised. The blast wind that follows these energised projectiles completes the amputation at the level of the disruption, and traumatic amputation occurs. These findings produce a shift in the understanding of traumatic amputation due to blast from a mechanism predominately thought mediated by primary and tertiary blast, to now include secondary blast mechanisms, and inform change for mitigative strategies.
Journal articleYan J, Parker S, Gheorghiu T, et al., 2021,
Miniature solid-state switched spiral generator for the cost effective, programmable triggering of large scale pulsed power accelerators, Physical Review Accelerators and Beams, Vol: 24, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2469-9888
This paper presents the design and testing of several different configurations of spiral generator, designed to trigger high current switches in the next generation of pulsed power devices. In particular, it details the development of spiral generators that utilize new ultrafast thyristor technology as an input switch, along with a polarity dependent output gap to improve the efficiency of the spiral generator design. The generator produced 50 kV from a 3.6 kV charging voltage, with a rise time of only 50 ns and a jitter of 1.3 ns—directly comparable, if not better than, a generator employing a triggered spark gap as the input switch. The output gap was constructed in house from commonly available components and a 3D printed case, and showed remarkable repeatability and stability—simple alterations to the output gap could further reduce the rise time. The entire spiral generator, along with control and charging electronics, fitted into a case only 210×145×33 mm.
Journal articlePerez-Callejo G, Marley E, Liedahl DA, et al., 2021,
Demonstration of geometric effects and resonant scattering in the X-Ray spectra of high-energy-density plasmas, Physical Review Letters, Vol: 126, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 0031-9007
In a plasma of sufficient size and density, photons emitted within the system have a probability of being reabsorbed and reemitted multiple times—a phenomenon known in astrophysics as resonant scattering. This effect alters the ratio of optically thick to optically thin lines, depending on the plasma geometry and viewing angle, and has significant implications for the spectra observed in a number of astrophysical scenarios, but has not previously been studied in a controlled laboratory plasma. We demonstrate the effect in the x-ray spectra emitted by cylindrical plasmas generated by high power laser irradiation, and the results confirm the geometrical interpretation of resonant scattering.
Journal articleRose S, Hatfield P, Scott R, 2020,
Considerable progress towards the achievement ofthermonuclear burn using inertial confinement fusion has beenachieved at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the USA inthe last few years. Other drivers, such as the Z-machine atSandia, are also making progress towards this goal. A burningthermonuclear plasma would provide a unique and extremeplasma environment; in this paper we discuss a) differenttheoretical challenges involved in modelling burning plasmasnot currently considered, b) the use of novel machine learningbased methods that might help large facilities reach ignition,and c) the connections that a burning plasma might have tofundamental physics, including QED studies, and the replicationand exploration of conditions that last occurred in the first fewminutes after the Big Bang.
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