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  1. Abstract

    Ion stopping in warm dense matter is a process of fundamental importance for the understanding of the properties of dense plasmas, the realization and the interpretation of experiments involving ion-beam-heated warm dense matter samples, and for inertial confinement fusion research. The theoretical description of the ion stopping power in warm dense matter is difficult notably due to electron coupling and degeneracy, and measurements are still largely missing. In particular, the low-velocity stopping range, that features the largest modelling uncertainties, remains virtually unexplored. Here, we report proton energy-loss measurements in warm dense plasma at unprecedented low projectile velocities. Our energy-loss data, combined with a precise target characterization based on plasma-emission measurements using two independent spectroscopy diagnostics, demonstrate a significant deviation of the stopping power from classical models in this regime. In particular, we show that our results are in closest agreement with recent first-principles simulations based on time-dependent density functional theory.

     
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Inertial confinement fusion approaches involve the creation of high-energy-density states through compression. High gain scenarios may be enabled by the beneficial heating from fast electrons produced with an intense laser and by energy containment with a high-strength magnetic field. Here, we report experimental measurements from a configuration integrating a magnetized, imploded cylindrical plasma and intense laser-driven electrons as well as multi-stage simulations that show fast electrons transport pathways at different times during the implosion and quantify their energy deposition contribution. The experiment consisted of a CH foam cylinder, inside an external coaxial magnetic field of 5 T, that was imploded using 36 OMEGA laser beams. Two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic modelling predicts the CH density reaches 9.0   g cm − 3 , the temperature reaches 920 eV and the external B-field is amplified at maximum compression to 580 T. At pre-determined times during the compression, the intense OMEGA EP laser irradiated one end of the cylinder to accelerate relativistic electrons into the dense imploded plasma providing additional heating. The relativistic electron beam generation was simulated using a 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) code. Finally, three-dimensional hybrid-PIC simulations calculated the electron propagation and energy deposition inside the target and revealed the roles the compressed and self-generated B-fields play in transport. During a time window before the maximum compression time, the self-generated B-field on the compression front confines the injected electrons inside the target, increasing the temperature through Joule heating. For a stronger B-field seed of 20 T, the electrons are predicted to be guided into the compressed target and provide additional collisional heating. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Prospects for high gain inertial fusion energy (part 2)’. 
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