Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 March 2015
A gas-filled cylindrical liner z-pinch configuration has been used to drive convergent radiative shock waves into different gases at velocities of 20–50 km s−1. On application of the 1.4 MA, 240 ns rise-time current pulse produced by the Magpie generator at Imperial College London, a series of cylindrically convergent shock waves are sequentially launched into the gas-fill from the inner wall of the liner. This occurs without any bulk motion of the liner wall itself. The timing and trajectories of the shocks are used as a diagnostic tool for understanding the response of the liner z-pinch wall to a large pulsed current. This analysis provides useful data on the liner resistivity, and a means to test equation of state (EOS) and material strength models within MHD simulation codes. In addition to providing information on liner response, the convergent shocks are interesting to study in their own right. The shocks are strong enough for radiation transport to influence the shock wave structure. In particular, we see evidence for both radiative preheating of material ahead of the shockwaves and radiative cooling instabilities in the shocked gas. Some preliminary results from initial gas-filled liner experiments with an applied axial magnetic field are also discussed.