Publications by Gianluca Gregori


Electron-ion equilibration in ultrafast heated graphite.

Physical review letters 112 (2014) 145005-

TG White, NJ Hartley, B Borm, BJ Crowley, JW Harris, DC Hochhaus, T Kaempfer, K Li, P Neumayer, LK Pattison, F Pfeifer, S Richardson, AP Robinson, I Uschmann, G Gregori

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.


Observations of strong ion-ion correlations in dense plasmas

PHYSICS OF PLASMAS 21 (2014) ARTN 056302

T Ma, L Fletcher, A Pak, DA Chapman, RW Falcone, C Fortmann, E Galtier, DO Gericke, G Gregori, J Hastings, OL Landen, S Le Pape, HJ Lee, B Nagler, P Neumayer, D Turnbull, J Vorberger, TG White, K Wuensch, U Zastrau, SH Glenzer, T Doeppner


Turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in laboratory laser-produced shock waves

NATURE PHYSICS 10 (2014) 520-524

J Meinecke, HW Doyle, F Miniati, AR Bell, R Bingham, R Crowston, RP Drake, M Fatenejad, M Koenig, Y Kuramitsu, CC Kuranz, DQ Lamb, D Lee, MJ MacDonald, CD Murphy, H-S Park, A Pelka, A Ravasio, Y Sakawa, AA Schekochihin, A Scopatz, P Tzeferacos, WC Wan, NC Woolsey, R Yurchak, B Reville, G Gregori


Electron-phonon equilibration in laser-heated gold films

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 90 (2014) ARTN 014305

TG White, P Mabey, DO Gericke, NJ Hartley, HW Doyle, D McGonegle, DS Rackstraw, A Higginbotham, G Gregori


Equilibration dynamics and conductivity of warm dense hydrogen

PHYSICAL REVIEW E 90 (2014) ARTN 013104

U Zastrau, P Sperling, A Becker, T Bornath, R Bredow, T Doeppner, S Dziarzhytski, T Fennel, LB Fletcher, E Forster, C Fortmann, SH Glenzer, S Goede, G Gregori, M Harmand, V Hilbert, B Holst, T Laarmann, HJ Lee, T Ma, JP Mithen, R Mitzner, CD Murphy, M Nakatsutsumi, P Neumayer, A Przystawik, S Roling, M Schulz, B Siemer, S Skruszewicz, J Tiggesbaeumker, S Toleikis, T Tschentscher, T White, M Woestmann, H Zacharias, R Redmer


Enhanced proton beam collimation in the ultra-intense short pulse regime

PLASMA PHYSICS AND CONTROLLED FUSION 56 (2014) ARTN 084001

JS Green, NP Dover, M Borghesi, CM Brenner, FH Cameron, DC Carroll, PS Foster, P Gallegos, G Gregori, P McKenna, CD Murphy, Z Najmudin, CAJ Palmer, R Prasad, L Romagnani, KE Quinn, J Schreiber, MJV Streeter, S Ter-Avetisyan, O Tresca, M Zepf, D Neely


Resolving ultrafast heating of dense cryogenic hydrogen.

Physical review letters 112 (2014) 105002-

U Zastrau, P Sperling, M Harmand, A Becker, T Bornath, R Bredow, S Dziarzhytski, T Fennel, LB Fletcher, E Förster, S Göde, G Gregori, V Hilbert, D Hochhaus, B Holst, T Laarmann, HJ Lee, T Ma, JP Mithen, R Mitzner, CD Murphy, M Nakatsutsumi, P Neumayer, A Przystawik, S Roling, M Schulz, B Siemer, S Skruszewicz, J Tiggesbäumker, S Toleikis, T Tschentscher, T White, M Wöstmann, H Zacharias, T Döppner, SH Glenzer, R Redmer

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.


Observations of continuum depression in warm dense matter with x-ray Thomson scattering.

Physical review letters 112 (2014) 145004-

LB Fletcher, AL Kritcher, A Pak, T Ma, T Döppner, C Fortmann, L Divol, OS Jones, OL Landen, HA Scott, J Vorberger, DA Chapman, DO Gericke, BA Mattern, GT Seidler, G Gregori, RW Falcone, SH Glenzer

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.


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)

LB Fletcher, HJ Lee, B Barbrel, M Gauthier, E Galtier, B Nagler, T Döppner, S Lepape, T Ma, A Pak, D Turnbull, T White, G Gregori, M Wei, RW Falcone, P Heimann, U Zastrau, JB Hastings, SH Glenzer

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.


Turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in laboratory laser-produced shock waves

Nature Physics Nature Publishing Group 10 (2014) 520-524

J Meinecke, HW Doyle, F Miniati, AR Bell, R Bingham, R Crowston, RP Drake, M Fatenejad, M Koenig, Y Kuramitsu, CC Kuranz, DQ Lamb, D Lee, MJ Macdonald, CD Murphy, H-S Park, A Pelka, A Ravasio, Y Sakawa, AA Schekochihin, A Scopatz, P Tzeferacos, WC Wan, NC Woolsey, R Yurchak, B Reville, G Gregori

X-ray1-3 and radio4-6 observations of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A reveal the presence of magnetic fields about 100 times stronger than those in the surrounding interstellar medium. Field coincident with the outer shock probably arises through a nonlinear feedback process involving cosmic rays2,7,8. The origin of the large magnetic field in the interior of the remnant is less clear but it is presumably stretched and amplified by turbulent motions. Turbulence may be generated by hydrodynamic instability at the contact discontinuity between the supernova ejecta and the circumstellar gas9. However, optical observations of Cassiopeia A indicate that the ejecta are interacting with a highly inhomogeneous, dense circumstellar cloud bank formed before the supernova explosion10-12. Herewe investigate the possibility that turbulent amplification is induced when the outer shock overtakes dense clumps in the ambient medium13-15. We report laboratory experiments that indicate the magnetic field is amplified when the shock interacts with a plastic grid. We show that our experimental results can explain the observed synchrotron emission in the interior of the remnant. The experiment also provides a laboratory example of magnetic field amplification by turbulence in plasmas, a physical process thought to occur in many astrophysical phenomena. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Evidence for a glassy state in strongly driven carbon.

Scientific reports 4 (2014) 5214-

CR Brown, DO Gericke, M Cammarata, BI Cho, T Döppner, K Engelhorn, E Förster, C Fortmann, D Fritz, E Galtier, SH Glenzer, M Harmand, P Heimann, NL Kugland, DQ Lamb, HJ Lee, RW Lee, H Lemke, M Makita, A Moinard, CD Murphy, B Nagler, P Neumayer, KU Plagemann, R Redmer, D Riley, FB Rosmej, P Sperling, S Toleikis, SM Vinko, J Vorberger, S White, TG White, K Wünsch, U Zastrau, D Zhu, T Tschentscher, G Gregori

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.


Radiative shocks produced from spherical cryogenic implosions at the National Ignition Facility

Physics of Plasmas 20 (2013)

A Pak, L Divol, G Gregori, S Weber, J Atherton, R Bennedetti, DK Bradley, D Callahan, DT Casey, E Dewald, T Döppner, MJ Edwards, JA Frenje, S Glenn, GP Grim, D Hicks, WW Hsing, N Izumi, OS Jones, MG Johnson, SF Khan, JD Kilkenny, JL Kline, GA Kyrala, J Lindl, OL Landen, S Le Pape, T Ma, A Macphee, BJ Macgowan, AJ Mackinnon, L Masse, NB Meezan, JD Moody, RE Olson, JE Ralph, HF Robey, H-S Park, BA Remington, JS Ross, R Tommasini, RPJ Town, V Smalyuk, SH Glenzer, EI Moses

Spherically expanding radiative shock waves have been observed from inertially confined implosion experiments at the National Ignition Facility. In these experiments, a spherical fusion target, initially 2 mm in diameter, is compressed via the pressure induced from the ablation of the outer target surface. At the peak compression of the capsule, x-ray and nuclear diagnostics indicate the formation of a central core, with a radius and ion temperature of ∼20 μm and ∼ 2 keV, respectively. This central core is surrounded by a cooler compressed shell of deuterium-tritium fuel that has an outer radius of ∼40 μm and a density of >500 g/cm3. Using inputs from multiple diagnostics, the peak pressure of the compressed core has been inferred to be of order 100 Gbar for the implosions discussed here. The shock front, initially located at the interface between the high pressure compressed fuel shell and surrounding in-falling low pressure ablator plasma, begins to propagate outwards after peak compression has been reached. Approximately 200 ps after peak compression, a ring of x-ray emission created by the limb-brightening of a spherical shell of shock-heated matter is observed to appear at a radius of ∼100 μm. Hydrodynamic simulations, which model the experiment and include radiation transport, indicate that the sudden appearance of this emission occurs as the post-shock material temperature increases and upstream density decreases, over a scale length of ∼10 μm, as the shock propagates into the lower density (∼1 g/cc), hot (∼250 eV) plasma that exists at the ablation front. The expansion of the shock-heated matter is temporally and spatially resolved and indicates a shock expansion velocity of ∼300 km/s in the laboratory frame. The magnitude and temporal evolution of the luminosity produced from the shock-heated matter was measured at photon energies between 5.9 and 12.4 keV. The observed radial shock expansion, as well as the magnitude and temporal evolution of the luminosity from the shock-heated matter, is consistent with 1-D radiation hydrodynamic simulations. Analytic estimates indicate that the radiation energy flux from the shock-heated matter is of the same order as the in-flowing material energy flux, and suggests that this radiation energy flux modifies the shock front structure. Simulations support these estimates and show the formation of a radiative shock, with a precursor that raises the temperature ahead of the shock front, a sharp μ m-scale thick spike in temperature at the shock front, followed by a post-shock cooling layer. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.


Simulation of X-ray scattering diagnostics in multi-dimensional plasma

High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 510-515

I Golovkin, JJ MacFarlane, P Woodruff, I Hall, G Gregori, J Bailey, E Harding, T Ao, S Glenzer

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.


Probing the complex ion structure in liquid carbon at 100 GPa

Physical Review Letters 111 (2013)

D Kraus, J Vorberger, DO Gericke, V Bagnoud, A Blažević, W Cayzac, A Frank, G Gregori, A Ortner, A Otten, F Roth, G Schaumann, D Schumacher, K Siegenthaler, F Wagner, K Wünsch, M Roth

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.


Orbital-free density-functional theory simulations of the dynamic structure factor of warm dense aluminum

Physical Review Letters 111 (2013)

TG White, S Richardson, BJB Crowley, LK Pattison, JWO Harris, G Gregori

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.


X-ray scattering from warm dense iron

High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 573-577

S White, G Nersisyan, B Kettle, TWJ Dzelzainis, K McKeever, CLS Lewis, A Otten, K Siegenthaler, D Kraus, M Roth, T White, G Gregori, DO Gericke, R Baggott, DA Chapman, K Wünsch, J Vorberger, D Riley

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.


Visualizing electromagnetic fields in laser-produced counter-streaming plasma experiments for collisionless shock laboratory astrophysics

Physics of Plasmas 20 (2013)

NL Kugland, JS Ross, P-Y Chang, RP Drake, G Fiksel, DH Froula, SH Glenzer, G Gregori, M Grosskopf, C Huntington, M Koenig, Y Kuramitsu, C Kuranz, MC Levy, E Liang, D Martinez, J Meinecke, F Miniati, T Morita, A Pelka, C Plechaty, R Presura, A Ravasio, BA Remington, B Reville, DD Ryutov, Y Sakawa, A Spitkovsky, H Takabe, H-S Park

Collisionless shocks are often observed in fast-moving astrophysical plasmas, formed by non-classical viscosity that is believed to originate from collective electromagnetic fields driven by kinetic plasma instabilities. However, the development of small-scale plasma processes into large-scale structures, such as a collisionless shock, is not well understood. It is also unknown to what extent collisionless shocks contain macroscopic fields with a long coherence length. For these reasons, it is valuable to explore collisionless shock formation, including the growth and self-organization of fields, in laboratory plasmas. The experimental results presented here show at a glance with proton imaging how macroscopic fields can emerge from a system of supersonic counter-streaming plasmas produced at the OMEGA EP laser. Interpretation of these results, plans for additional measurements, and the difficulty of achieving truly collisionless conditions are discussed. Future experiments at the National Ignition Facility are expected to create fully formed collisionless shocks in plasmas with no pre-imposed magnetic field. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.


High Mach-number collisionless shock driven by a laser with an external magnetic field

EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)

T Morita, Y Sakawa, Y Kuramitsu, T Ide, K Nishio, M Kuwada, H Ide, K Tsubouchi, H Yoneda, A Nishida, T Namiki, T Norimatsu, K Tomita, K Nakayama, K Inoue, K Uchino, M Nakatsutsumi, A Pelka, M Koenig, Q Dong, D Yuan, G Gregori, H Takabe

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.


FLASH hydrodynamic simulations of experiments to explore the generation of cosmological magnetic fields

High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 75-81

A Scopatz, M Fatenejad, N Flocke, G Gregori, M Koenig, DQ Lamb, D Lee, J Meinecke, A Ravasio, P Tzeferacos, K Weide, R Yurchak

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.


Laboratory experiments on plasma jets in a magnetic field using high-power lasers

EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)

K Nishio, Y Sakawa, Y Kuramitsu, T Morita, T Ide, M Kuwada, M Koga, T Kato, T Norimatsu, C Gregory, N Woolsey, C Murphy, G Gregori, K Schaar, A Diziere, M Koenig, A Pelka, S Wang, Q Dong, Y Li, H Takabe

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 ≠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.