Fourier-transform inelastic X-ray scattering from time- and momentum-dependent phonon-phonon correlations
Nature Physics (2013)
The macroscopic characteristics of a material are determined by its elementary excitations, which dictate the response of the system to external stimuli. The spectrum of excitations is related to fluctuations in the density-density correlations and is typically measured through frequency-domain neutron or X-ray scattering. Time-domain measurements of these correlations could yield a more direct way to investigate the excitations of solids and their couplings both near to and far from equilibrium. Here we show that we can access large portions of the phonon dispersion of germanium by measuring the diffuse scattering from femtosecond X-ray free-electron laser pulses. A femtosecond optical laser pulse slightly quenches the vibrational frequencies, producing pairs of high-wavevector phonons with opposite momenta. These phonons manifest themselves as time-dependent coherences in the displacement correlations probed by the X-ray scattering. As the coherences are preferentially created in regions of strong electron-phonon coupling, the time-resolved approach is a natural spectroscopic tool for probing low-energy collective excitations in solids, and their microscopic interactions.
Journal of Plasma Physics 79 (2013) 987-989
We present results from numerical simulations conducted to investigate a potential method for realizing the required fusion fuel heating in the fast ignition scheme to achieving inertial confinement fusion. A comparison will be made between collisionless and collisional particle-in-cell simulations of the relaxation of a non-thermal electron beam through the two-stream instability. The results presented demonstrate energy transfer to the plasma ion population from the laser-driven electron beam via the nonlinear wave-wave interaction associated with the two-stream instability. Evidence will also be provided for the effects of preferential damping of competing instabilities such as the Weibel mode found to be detrimental to the ion heating process. © Cambridge University Press 2013.
Impact of extended preplasma on energy coupling in kilojoule energy relativistic laser interaction with cone wire targets relevant to fast ignition
New Journal of Physics 15 (2013)
Cone-guided fast ignition laser fusion depends critically on details of the interaction of an intense laser pulse with the inside tip of a cone. Generation of relativistic electrons in the laser plasma interaction (LPI) with a gold cone and their subsequent transport into a copper wire have been studied using a kJ-class intense laser pulse, OMEGA EP (850 J, 10 ps). Weobserved that the laser-pulse-energy-normalized copper K signal from the Cu wire attached to the Au cone is significantly reduced (by a factor of 5) as compared to that from identical targets using the Titan laser (150 J, 0.7 ps) with 60 × less energy in the prepulse. We conclude that the decreased coupling is due to increased prepulse energy rather than 10 ps pulse duration, for which this effect has not been previously explored. The collisional particle-in-cell code PICLS demonstrates that the preformed plasma has a significant impact on generation of electrons and their transport. In particular, a longer scale length preplasma significantly reduces the energy coupling from the intense laser to the wire due to the larger offset distance between the relativistic critical density surface and the cone tip as well as a wider divergence of source electrons. We also observed that laser-driven plasma ionization increase in the LPI region can potentially alter the electron density profile during the laser interaction, forcing the electron source to be moved farther away from the cone tip which contributes to the reduction of energy coupling. © IOP Publishing and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)
The FIREX-1 project, the goal of which is to demonstrate fuel heating up to 5 keV by fast ignition scheme, has been carried out since 2003 including construction and tuning of LFEX laser and integrated experiments. Implosion and heating experiment of Fast Ignition targets have been performed since 2009 with Gekko-XII and LFEX lasers. A deuterated polystyrene shell target was imploded with the 0.53- μm Gekko-XII, and the 1.053- μm beam of the LFEX laser was injected through a gold cone attached to the shell to generate hot electrons to heat the imploded fuel plasma. Pulse contrast ratio of the LFEX beam was significantly improved. Also a variety of plasma diagnostic instruments were developed to be compatible with harsh environment of intense hard x-rays (γ rays) and electromagnetic pulses due to the intense LFEX beam on the target. Large background signals around the DD neutron signal in time-of-flight record of neutron detector were found to consist of neutrons via (γ,n) reactions and scattered gamma rays. Enhanced neutron yield was confirmed by carefully eliminating such backgrounds. Neutron enhancement up to 3.5 × 107 was observed. Heating efficiency was estimated to be 10-20% assuming a uniform temperature rise model. © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.
PHYSICAL REVIEW B 88 (2013) ARTN 104105
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.
EAS Publications Series 58 (2012) 23-26
Magnetic field generation in the Universe is still an open problem. Possible mechanisms involve the Weibel instability, due to anisotropic phase-space distributions, as well as the Biermann battery, due to misaligned density and temperature gradients. These mechanisms can be reproduced in scaled laboratory experiments. In this contribution we estimate the relative importance of these two processes and explore the laser-energy requirements for producing Weibel dominated shocks. © The Author(s) 2013.
Physical Review Letters 109 (2012)
We have used the Linac Coherent Light Source to generate solid-density aluminum plasmas at temperatures of up to 180 eV. By varying the photon energy of the x rays that both create and probe the plasma, and observing the K-α fluorescence, we can directly measure the position of the K edge of the highly charged ions within the system. The results are found to disagree with the predictions of the extensively used Stewart-Pyatt model, but are consistent with the earlier model of Ecker and Kröll, which predicts significantly greater depression of the ionization potential. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Comparative merits of the memory function and dynamic local-field correction of the classical one-component plasma
PHYSICAL REVIEW E 85 (2012) ARTN 056407
Testing quantum mechanics in non-Minkowski space-time with high power lasers and 4(th) generation light sources.
Scientific reports 2 (2012) 491-
A common misperception of quantum gravity is that it requires accessing energies up to the Planck scale of 10¹⁹ GeV, which is unattainable from any conceivable particle collider. Thanks to the development of ultra-high intensity optical lasers, very large accelerations can be now the reached at their focal spot, thus mimicking, by virtue of the equivalence principle, a non Minkowski space-time. Here we derive a semiclassical extension of quantum mechanics that applies to different metrics, but under the assumption of weak gravity. We use our results to show that Thomson scattering of photons by uniformly accelerated electrons predicts an observable effect depending upon acceleration and local metric. In the laboratory frame, a broadening of the Thomson scattered x ray light from a fourth generation light source can be used to detect the modification of the metric associated to electrons accelerated in the field of a high power optical laser.
Physical Review Letters 109 (2012)
The x-ray intensities made available by x-ray free electron lasers (FEL) open up new x-ray matter interaction channels not accessible with previous sources. We report here on the resonant generation of Kα emission, that is to say the production of copious Kα radiation by tuning the x-ray FEL pulse to photon energies below that of the K edge of a solid aluminum sample. The sequential absorption of multiple photons in the same atom during the 80 fs pulse, with photons creating L-shell holes and then one resonantly exciting a K-shell electron into one of these holes, opens up a channel for the Kα production, as well as the absorption of further photons. We demonstrate rich spectra of such channels, and investigate the emission produced by tuning the FEL energy to the K-L transitions of those highly charged ions that have transition energies below the K edge of the cold material. The spectra are sensitive to x-ray intensity dependent opacity effects, with ions containing L-shell holes readily reabsorbing the Kα radiation. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Nanosecond white-light Laue diffraction measurements of dislocation microstructure in shock-compressed single-crystal copper.
Nat Commun 3 (2012) 1224-
Under uniaxial high-stress shock compression it is believed that crystalline materials undergo complex, rapid, micro-structural changes to relieve the large applied shear stresses. Diagnosing the underlying mechanisms involved remains a significant challenge in the field of shock physics, and is critical for furthering our understanding of the fundamental lattice-level physics, and for the validation of multi-scale models of shock compression. Here we employ white-light X-ray Laue diffraction on a nanosecond timescale to make the first in situ observations of the stress relaxation mechanism in a laser-shocked crystal. The measurements were made on single-crystal copper, shocked along the  axis to peak stresses of order 50 GPa. The results demonstrate the presence of stress-dependent lattice rotations along specific crystallographic directions. The orientation of the rotations suggests that there is double slip on conjugate systems. In this model, the rotation magnitudes are consistent with defect densities of order 10(12) cm(-2).
AIP Conference Proceedings 1426 (2012) 975-978
The lattice level strain measured using in situ x-ray diffraction during shock compression of rolled iron foils is used along with the pressure dependent elastic constants to estimate the dynamic strength of 1±1 GPa at 15 GPa. We examine these results in the context of the constant stress (Voigt) and constant strain (Ruess) limit of grain interaction, discussing the implications at the lattice level. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Characterizing counter-streaming interpenetrating plasmas relevant to astrophysical collisionless shocks
Physics of Plasmas 19 (2012)
A series of Omega experiments have produced and characterized high velocity counter-streaming plasma flows relevant for the creation of collisionless shocks. Single and double CH2 foils have been irradiated with a laser intensity of ∼ 1016 W/cm2. The laser ablated plasma was characterized 4 mm from the foil surface using Thomson scattering. A peak plasma flow velocity of 2000 km/s, an electron temperature of ∼ 110 eV, an ion temperature of ∼ 30 eV, and a density of ∼ 1018 cm -3 were measured in the single foil configuration. Significant increases in electron and ion temperatures were seen in the double foil geometry. The measured single foil plasma conditions were used to calculate the ion skin depth, c/ωpi ∼ 0.16 mm, the interaction length, lint, of ∼ 8 mm, and the Coulomb mean free path, λmfp ∼ 27 mm. With c/ωpi ≪ l int ≪λmfp, we are in a regime where collisionless shock formation is possible. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Revealing multiphoton resonant ionization in solid density plasmas with an x-ray free electron laser
2012 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, CLEO 2012 (2012)
Interaction of intense x-ray and solid density Al plasma is studied via K-shell emission spectroscopy. A high fluence, high-intensity x-ray pulse from an x-ray free-electron laser unveils multiphoton ionization pathway and drives hidden resonances. © 2012 OSA.
Nature 481 (2012) 480-483
The standard model for the origin of galactic magnetic fields is through the amplification of seed fields via dynamo or turbulent processes to the level consistent with present observations. Although other mechanisms may also operate, currents from misaligned pressure and temperature gradients (the Biermann battery process) inevitably accompany the formation of galaxies in the absence of a primordial field. Driven by geometrical asymmetries in shocks associated with the collapse of protogalactic structures, the Biermann battery is believed to generate tiny seed fields to a level of about 10 -21 gauss (refs 7, 8). With the advent of high-power laser systems in the past two decades, a new area of research has opened in which, using simple scaling relations, astrophysical environments can effectively be reproduced in the laboratory. Here we report the results of an experiment that produced seed magnetic fields by the Biermann battery effect. We show that these results can be scaled to the intergalactic medium, where turbulence, acting on timescales of around 700 million years, can amplify the seed fields sufficiently to affect galaxy evolution. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Physical Review Letters 108 (2012)
X-ray Thomson scattering has enabled us to measure the temperature of a shocked layer, produced in the laboratory, that is relevant to shocks emerging from supernovas. High energy lasers are used to create a shock in argon gas which is probed by x-ray scattering. The scattered, inelastic Compton feature allows inference of the electron temperature. It is measured to be 34 eV in the radiative precursor and ∼60eV near the shock. Comparison of energy fluxes implied by the data demonstrates that the shock wave is strongly radiative. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Physical Review Letters 109 (2012)
The Fermi-degenerate plasma conditions created in liquid deuterium by a laser-ablation - driven shock wave were probed with noncollective, spectrally resolved, inelastic x-ray Thomson scattering employing Cl Lyα line emission at 2.96 keV. These first x-ray Thomson scattering measurements of the microscopic properties of shocked deuterium show an inferred spatially averaged electron temperature of 8±5 eV, an electron density of 2.2(±0.5)×1023 cm-3, and an ionization of 0.8 (-0.25, +0.15). Two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations using equation-of-state models suited for the extreme parameters occurring in inertial confinement fusion research and planetary interiors are consistent with the experimental results. © 2012 American Physical Society.