Publications associated with High Energy Density Physics and Inertial Fusion Energy

Progress in long scale length laser-plasma interactions

Nuclear Fusion 44 (2004)

SH Glenzer, P Arnold, G Bardsley, RL Berger, G Bonanno, T Borger, DE Bower, M Bowers, R Bryant, S Buckman, SC Burkhart, K Campbell, MP Chrisp, BI Cohen, C Constantin, F Cooper, J Cox, E Dewald, L Divol, S Dixit, J Duncan, D Eder, J Edwards, G Erbert, B Felker, J Fornes, G Frieders, DH Froula, SD Gardner, C Gates, M Gonzalez, S Grace, G Gregori, A Greenwood, R Griffith, T Hall, BA Hammel, C Haynam, G Heestand, M Henesian, G Hermes, D Hinkel, J Holder, F Holdner, G Holtmeier, W Hsing, S Huber, T James, S Johnson, OS Jones, D Kalantar, JH Kamperschroer, R Kauffman, T Kelleher, J Knight, RK Kirkwood, WL Kruer, W Labiak, OL Landen, AB Langdon, S Langer, D Latray, A Lee, FD Lee, D Lund, B MacGowan, S Marshall, J McBride, T McCarville, L McGrew, AJ Mackinnon, S Mahavandi, K Manes, C Marshall, J Menapace, E Mertens, N Meezan, G Miller, S Montelongo, JD Moody, E Moses, D Munro, J Murray, J Neumann, M Newton, E Ng, C Niemann, A Nikitin, P Opsahl, E Padilla, T Parham, G Parrish, C Petty, M Polk, C Powell, I Reinbachs, V Rekow, R Rinnert, B Riordan, M Rhodes

The first experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) have employed the first four beams to measure propagation and laser backscattering losses in large ignition-size plasmas. Gas-filled targets between 2 and 7 mm length have been heated from one side by overlapping the focal spots of the four beams from one quad operated at 351 nm (3ω) with a total intensity of 2 × 10 15 Wcm -2 . The targets were filled with 1 atm of CO 2 producing up to 7 mm long homogeneously heated plasmas with densities of n e = 6 × 10 20 cm -3 and temperatures of T e = 2 keV. The high energy in an NIF quad of beams of 16 kJ, illuminating the target from one direction, creates unique conditions for the study of laser-plasma interactions at scale lengths not previously accessible. The propagation through the large-scale plasma was measured with a gated x-ray imager that was filtered for 3.5 keV x-rays. These data indicate that the beams interact with the full length of this ignition-scale plasma during the last ∼1 ns of the experiment. During that time, the full aperture measurements of the stimulated Brillouin scattering and stimulated Raman scattering show scattering into the four focusing lenses of 3% for the smallest length (∼2 mm), increasing to 10-12% for ∼7mm. These results demonstrate the NIF experimental capabilities and further provide a benchmark for three-dimensional modelling of the laser-plasma interactions at ignition-size scale lengths.

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