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The emission characteristics of a Z-pinch plasma in a vacuum spark discharge Fong, Kenneth Sau-Kin


The Z-pinches in a vacuum spark can be classified into slow, fast and superfast according to their pinch durations. Their emission characteristics are investigated in the visible, ultraviolet and the X-ray wavelengths. The plasma during a fast pinch was found to have an electron temperature between 100 and 600eV. The superfast pinch resulted in a minute cylindrical plasma approximately 40 μm in diameter, with an electron temperature of 1 to 4keV and a lifetime of less than 4ns. The slow and the fast pinch were found to be in agreement with the theoretical results predicted by a shock wave model. The formation of the superfast pinch and its associated high density and temperature were explained as the results of magnetohydrodynamic instability.

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