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In this paper, we discuss some of the key challenges in the study of time-dependent processes and non-equilibrium behaviour in warm dense matter. We outline some of the basic physics concepts that have underpinned the definition of warm dense matter as a subject area in its own right and then cover, in a selective, non-comprehensive manner, some of the current challenges, pointing along the way to topics covered by the papers presented in this volume. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Dynamic and transient processes in warm dense matter’.more » « lessFree, publicly-accessible full text available August 21, 2024
Warm dense matter is a material state in the region of parameter space connecting condensed matter to classical plasma physics. In this intermediate regime, we investigate the significance of non-adiabatic electron-ion interactions upon ion dynamics. To disentangle non-adiabatic from adiabatic electron-ion interactions, we compare the ion self-diffusion coefficient from the non-adiabatic electron force field computational model with an adiabatic, classical molecular dynamics simulation. A classical pair potential developed through a force-matching algorithm ensures the only difference between the models is due to the electronic inertia. We implement this new method to characterize non-adiabatic effects on the self-diffusion of warm dense hydrogen over a wide range of temperatures and densities. Ultimately we show that the impact of non-adiabatic effects is negligible for equilibrium ion dynamics in warm dense hydrogen. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Dynamic and transient processes in warm dense matter’.more » « lessFree, publicly-accessible full text available August 21, 2024
null (Ed.)Understanding magnetic-field generation and amplification in turbulent plasma is essential to account for observations of magnetic fields in the universe. A theoretical framework attributing the origin and sustainment of these fields to the so-called fluctuation dynamo was recently validated by experiments on laser facilities in low-magnetic-Prandtl-number plasmas ( P m < 1 ). However, the same framework proposes that the fluctuation dynamo should operate differently when P m ≳ 1 , the regime relevant to many astrophysical environments such as the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters. This paper reports an experiment that creates a laboratory P m ≳ 1 plasma dynamo. We provide a time-resolved characterization of the plasma’s evolution, measuring temperatures, densities, flow velocities, and magnetic fields, which allows us to explore various stages of the fluctuation dynamo’s operation on seed magnetic fields generated by the action of the Biermann-battery mechanism during the initial drive-laser target interaction. The magnetic energy in structures with characteristic scales close to the driving scale of the stochastic motions is found to increase by almost three orders of magnitude and saturate dynamically. It is shown that the initial growth of these fields occurs at a much greater rate than the turnover rate of the driving-scale stochastic motions. Our results point to the possibility that plasma turbulence produced by strong shear can generate fields more efficiently at the driving scale than anticipated by idealized magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations of the nonhelical fluctuation dynamo; this finding could help explain the large-scale fields inferred from observations of astrophysical systems.more » « less