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Laboratory plasma physics experiments using merging supersonic plasma jets

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2014

S. C. Hsu*
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
A. L. Moser
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
E. C. Merritt
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
C. S. Adams
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
J. P. Dunn
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
S. Brockington
Affiliation:
HyperV Technologies Corp., Chantilly, VA 20151, USA
A. Case
Affiliation:
HyperV Technologies Corp., Chantilly, VA 20151, USA
M. Gilmore
Affiliation:
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
A. G. Lynn
Affiliation:
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
S. J. Messer
Affiliation:
HyperV Technologies Corp., Chantilly, VA 20151, USA
F. D. Witherspoon
Affiliation:
HyperV Technologies Corp., Chantilly, VA 20151, USA
*Corresponding
Email address for correspondence: scotthsu@lanl.gov
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Abstract

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We describe a laboratory plasma physics experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that uses two merging supersonic plasma jets formed and launched by pulsed-power-driven railguns. The jets can be formed using any atomic species or mixture available in a compressed-gas bottle and have the following nominal initial parameters at the railgun nozzle exit: ne ≈ ni ~ 1016 cm−3, Te ≈ Ti ≈ 1.4 eV, Vjet ≈ 30–100 km/s, mean charge $\bar{Z}$ ≈ 1, sonic Mach number MsVjet/Cs > 10, jet diameter = 5 cm, and jet length ≈20 cm. Experiments to date have focused on the study of merging-jet dynamics and the shocks that form as a result of the interaction, in both collisional and collisionless regimes with respect to the inter-jet classical ion mean free path, and with and without an applied magnetic field. However, many other studies are also possible, as discussed in this paper.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

References

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