Publications by Gianluca Gregori
Exploring Mbar shock conditions and isochorically heated aluminum at the Matter in Extreme Conditions end station of the Linac Coherent Light Source (invited)
Review of Scientific Instruments American Institute of Physics Inc. 85 (2014)
Recent experiments performed at the Matter in Extreme Conditions end station of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) have demonstrated the first spectrally resolved measurements of plasmons from isochorically heated aluminum. The experiments have been performed using a seeded 8-keV x-ray laser beam as a pump and probe to both volumetrically heat and scatter x-rays from aluminum. Collective x-ray Thomson scattering spectra show a well-resolved plasmon feature that is down-shifted in energy by 19 eV. In addition, Mbar shock pressures from laser-compressed aluminum foils using velocity interferometer system for any reflector have been measured. The combination of experiments fully demonstrates the possibility to perform warm dense matter studies at the LCLS with unprecedented accuracy and precision. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
Physical review letters 112 (2014) 105002-
We report on the dynamics of ultrafast heating in cryogenic hydrogen initiated by a ≲300 fs, 92 eV free electron laser x-ray burst. The rise of the x-ray scattering amplitude from a second x-ray pulse probes the transition from dense cryogenic molecular hydrogen to a nearly uncorrelated plasmalike structure, indicating an electron-ion equilibration time of ∼0.9 ps. The rise time agrees with radiation hydrodynamics simulations based on a conductivity model for partially ionized plasma that is validated by two-temperature density-functional theory.
Physical review letters 112 (2014) 145005-
We have employed fast electrons produced by intense laser illumination to isochorically heat thermal electrons in solid density carbon to temperatures of ∼10,000 K. Using time-resolved x-ray diffraction, the temperature evolution of the lattice ions is obtained through the Debye-Waller effect, and this directly relates to the electron-ion equilibration rate. This is shown to be considerably lower than predicted from ideal plasma models. We attribute this to strong ion coupling screening the electron-ion interaction.
Scaling of magneto-quantum-radiative hydrodynamic equations: From laser-produced plasmas to astrophysics
Astrophysical Journal Institute of Physics Publishing 795 (2014)
We introduce the equations of magneto-quantum-radiative hydrodynamics. By rewriting them in a dimensionless form, we obtain a set of parameters that describe scale-dependent ratios of characteristic hydrodynamic quantities. We discuss how these dimensionless parameters relate to the scaling between astrophysical observations and laboratory experiments.
PHYSICAL REVIEW E 90 (2014) ARTN 013104
Physical review letters 112 (2014) 145004-
Detailed measurements of the electron densities, temperatures, and ionization states of compressed CH shells approaching pressures of 50 Mbar are achieved with spectrally resolved x-ray scattering. Laser-produced 9 keV x-rays probe the plasma during the transient state of three-shock coalescence. High signal-to-noise x-ray scattering spectra show direct evidence of continuum depression in highly degenerate warm dense matter states with electron densities ne>1024 cm-3. The measured densities and temperatures agree well with radiation-hydrodynamic modeling when accounting for continuum lowering in calculations that employ detailed configuration accounting.
PHYSICS OF PLASMAS 21 (2014) ARTN 056302
NATURE PHYSICS 10 (2014) 520-524
Scientific reports 4 (2014) 5214-
Here, we report results of an experiment creating a transient, highly correlated carbon state using a combination of optical and x-ray lasers. Scattered x-rays reveal a highly ordered state with an electrostatic energy significantly exceeding the thermal energy of the ions. Strong Coulomb forces are predicted to induce nucleation into a crystalline ion structure within a few picoseconds. However, we observe no evidence of such phase transition after several tens of picoseconds but strong indications for an over-correlated fluid state. The experiment suggests a much slower nucleation and points to an intermediate glassy state where the ions are frozen close to their original positions in the fluid.
PLASMA PHYSICS AND CONTROLLED FUSION 56 (2014) ARTN 084001
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. 42 (2014) 2496-2497
The production of shock-and collimated jet-like features is recorded from the self-emission of a plasma using a 16-frame camera, which can show the progression of the interaction over short (100s ns) durations. A cluster of laser beams, with intensity 1015 W/cm2 , was focused onto a planar aluminum foil to produce a plasma that expanded into 0.7 mbar of argon gas. The acquisition of 16 ultrafast images on a single shot allows prompt spatial and temporal characterization of the plasma and enables the velocity of the jet-and shock-like features to be calculated.
High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 510-515
X-ray scattering is a powerful diagnostic technique that has been used in a variety of experimental settings to determine the temperature, density, and ionization state of warm dense matter. In order to maximize the intensity of the scattered signal, the x-ray source is often placed in close proximity to the target plasma. Therefore, the interpretation of the experimental data can become complicated by the fact that the detector records photons scattered at different angles from points within the plasma volume. In addition, the target plasma that is scattering the x-rays can have significant temperature and density gradients. To address these issues, we have developed the capability to simulate x-ray scattering for realistic experimental configurations where the effects of plasma non-uniformities and a range of x-ray scattering angles are included. We will discuss the implementation details and show results relevant to previous and ongoing experimental investigations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Physical Review Letters 111 (2013)
We present the first direct experimental test of the complex ion structure in liquid carbon at pressures around 100 GPa, using spectrally resolved x-ray scattering from shock-compressed graphite samples. Our results confirm the structure predicted by ab initio quantum simulations and demonstrate the importance of chemical bonds at extreme conditions similar to those found in the interiors of giant planets. The evidence presented here thus provides a firmer ground for modeling the evolution and current structure of carbon-bearing icy giants like Neptune, Uranus, and a number of extrasolar planets. © 2013 American Physical Society.
High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 573-577
We have carried out X-ray scattering experiments on iron foil samples that have been compressed and heated using laser-driven shocks created with the VULCAN laser system at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory. This is the highest Z element studied in such experiments so far and the first time scattering from warm dense iron has been reported. Because of the importance of iron in telluric planets, the work is relevant to studies of warm dense matter in planetary interiors. We report scattering results as well as shock breakout results that, in conjunction with hydrodynamic simulations, suggest the target has been compressed to a molten state at several 100GPa pressure. Initial comparison with modelling suggests more work is needed to understand the structure factor of warm dense iron. © 2013.
EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)
Collisionless shocks are produced in counter-streaming plasmas with an external magnetic field. The shocks are generated due to an electrostatic field generated in counter-streaming laser-irradiated plasmas, as reported previously in a series of experiments without an external magnetic field [T. Morita et al., Phys. Plasmas, 17, 122702 (2010), Kuramitsu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 175002 (2011)] via laser-irradiation of a double-CH-foil target. A magnetic field is applied to the region between two foils by putting an electro-magnet (∼10 T) perpendicular to the direction of plasma expansion. The generated shocks show different characteristics later in time (t > 20ns). © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.
EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)
The experiments to simulate astrophysical jet generation are performed using Gekko XII (GXII) HIPER laser system at the Institute of Laser Engineering. In the experiments a fast plasma flow generated by shooting a CH plane (10 μm thickness) is observed at the rear side of the plane. By separating the focal spot of the main beams, a non-uniform plasma is generated. The non-uniform plasma flow in an external magnetic field (0.2∼0.3 T) perpendicular to the plasma is more collimated than that without the external magnetic field. The plasma β, the ratio between the plasma and magnetic pressure, is â‰ 1, and the magnetic Reynolds number is ∼150 in the collimated plasma. It is considered that the magnetic field is distorted by the plasma flow and enhances the jet collimation. © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.
Orbital-free density-functional theory simulations of the dynamic structure factor of warm dense aluminum
Physical Review Letters 111 (2013)
Here, we report orbital-free density-functional theory (OF DFT) molecular dynamics simulations of the dynamic ion structure factor of warm solid density aluminum at T=0.5 eV and T=5 eV. We validate the OF DFT method in the warm dense matter regime through comparison of the static and thermodynamic properties with the more complete Kohn-Sham DFT. This extension of OF DFT to dynamic properties indicates that previously used models based on classical molecular dynamics may be inadequate to capture fully the low frequency dynamics of the response function. © 2013 American Physical Society.
EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)
A collisionless Weibel-instability mediated shock in a self-generated magnetic field is studied using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation [Kato and Takabe, Astophys. J. Lett. 681, L93 (2008)]. It is predicted that the generation of the Weibel shock requires to use NIF-class high-power laser system. Collisionless electrostatic shocks are produced in counter-streaming plasmas using Gekko XII laser system [Kuramitsu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 175002 (2011)]. A NIF facility time proposal is approved to study the formation of the collisionless Weibel shock. OMEGA and OMEGA EP experiments have been started to study the plasma conditions of counter-streaming plasmas required for the NIF experiment using Thomson scattering and to develop proton radiography diagnostics. © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.
FLASH hydrodynamic simulations of experiments to explore the generation of cosmological magnetic fields
High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 75-81
We report the results of FLASH hydrodynamic simulations of the experiments conducted by the University of Oxford High Energy Density Laboratory Astrophysics group and its collaborators at the Laboratoire pour l'Utilisation de Lasers Intenses (LULI). In these experiments, a long-pulse laser illuminates a target in a chamber filled with Argon gas, producing shock waves that generate magnetic fields via the Biermann battery mechanism. The simulations show that the result of the laser illuminating the target is a series of complex hydrodynamic phenomena. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.