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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Diagnostics in a high density Z pinch plasma Hilko, Brian Kent


A Z-pinch plasma, suitable for the study of C0₂ laser-plasma interaction mechanisims, is thoroughly diagnosed using a number of non-perturbing, optical probe techniques. Simple streak and shadow methods give an important preliminary view of the spatial distribution and radial dynamics of plasma during the high compression phase. The electron density and temperature are determined as a function of time by spectrally resolving the ion feature of Thomson scattered ruby laser light. Peak electron densities well in excess of 1 x 10¹⁹ cm⁻³ and temperatures near 50 eV are observed. Complementing the scattering results, holographic interferometry is performed to examine both the temporal and spatial variation of electron density. The diagnostics used are well suited to the examination of moderately dense, hot plasma and have been developed specifically for application in our laser-plasma interaction studies.

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