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A study of the X-ray emission from the plasma focus Rankin, Graham Whitelaw

Abstract

The X-ray emission from a plasma focus has been studied using time integrated and streak photography. The plasma focus, a small volume of very dense and hot plasma was created in a coaxial plasma gun driven by a fast current pulse of period T ~ 2 μsec which was produced by discharging a condensor bank of V = 12-15 kV, and C = 84 μf. Measurements have shown that a diffuse X-ray emitting plasma column is formed in the 'early' pinch stage, which extends a few centimeters in the axial direction, has expansion velocities of between 2-6 x 10⁷ cm/sec. and lasts for 30-60 nsec. In the following 10-30 nsec. X-ray emission occurs from small plasma regions which have little or no axial velocity. The distance between these "hot" spots are of the order of half a centimeter. These measurements and observations of the X-ray emitting regions are consistent with results obtained by Peacock and Mather. By comparing their results with those of this experiment it is concluded that the appearance of the isolated X-ray sources is associated with the m = 0 instability.

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