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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Investigation of the dynamics and emission characteristics of x-pinch plasmas

  • Author(s): Haas, David Michael
  • et al.

A study of x-pinch experiments has been performed on a compact (< 1 m²) pulse power generator which produced an 80 kA current with a risetime of 228}040 ns. The first quantitative study of the x-pinch limb ablation has shown a strong correlation with the results from a previously published analytical ablation model. Studies of the coronal plasma velocity and resistivity provided the first approximation of the magnetic Reynolds number in x-pinch plasmas. above one (Al) and below one (W) indicated varying plasma dynamics dominated by convection and diffusion respectively. Variation in the plasma behavior was verified experimentally. Additionally, the effect of a thin high-Z coating on the plasma development was investigated. Applications of the x-pinch plasma structures were also studied. The evolution of freely propagating supersonic plasma jets was recorded along the axis of the experiment. Mach numbers of 228}06 and cooling parameters ([chi]) in the range of 0.1-1 were found, and the correlation and scaling to large scale astrophysical plasma jets is discussed. Investigation of the cross point emission recorded the presence of multiple temporally separated x-ray bursts. Here the first peak (occurring around the time of maximum compression) was then utilized in an approach for the non-destructive characterization of inertial confinement fusion capsules, through phase contrast imaging

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