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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Studies of dense plasmas in laser generated shock wave experiments Parfeniuk, Dean Allister


Shock waves generated by laser-driven ablation in solids have provided a great opportunity for the study of dense plasmas. The work presented in this thesis include measurements of Hugoniot curves and the reflectivity of shocked aluminum. In these experiments, planar aluminum targets were irradiated with a 0.53µm, 2ns (FWHM) laser pulse at irradiances up to ~ 10¹⁴/cm². Temporally and spectrally resolved measurements of the target rear surface luminous emission have yielded the shock speed and temperature Hugoniot curve which showed good agreement with equation of state predictions. In addition, temporally resolved reflectivity measurements of the shocked target rear surface compared well with a theoretical model for the electrical conductivity of a dense plasma. For copper and molybdenum targets, both the luminescence and the reflectivity measurements indicated that the heating of the dense target material was dominated by radiation transport from the coronal plasma rather than shock heating. An analysis of the molybdenum results indicate that x-ray shine-through may be the dominant energy transport mechanism to the target rear surface, whereas for the copper targets the transport process appears to be much more complex.

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