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Recent developments in laser plasma theory and simulations

Description: The principal recent developments are that (1) nonlinear steepening of the density profile strongly modifies absorption processes near the critical density, (2) a sizeable stimulated reflection of light can occur; and (3) energy transport by hot electrons is impeded either by the need to draw a return current, by ion fluctuations generated by this return current, or by self- generated magnetic fields. A brief overview of these results is presented.
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Kruer, W. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deflection, spraying, and induced scattering of intense laser beams in plasmas

Description: Investigations into laser beam spraying, deflection, and induced scattering in plasmas are presented. Recent calculations and experiments on beam spraying due to filamentation are discussed. A simple model is presented for an enhanced beam deflection associated with nearly sonic plasma flow transverse to the beam. This model provides useful insights on the laser beam deflection, its scaling and the importance of self-consistent profile modifications. Finally, some discussion is given of recent experiments demonstrating the interplay between stimulated.Raman and Brillouin scattering.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Kruer, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control of laser plasma instabilities in hohlraums

Description: Laser plasma instabilities are an important constraint on the operating regime for inertial fusion. Many techniques have been developed to control the various laser-driven instabilities. Experiments with long scale length plasmas are testing these instability levels, the nonlinear regimes, and the control mechanisms.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Kruer, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser plasma interactions in hohlraums

Description: Lasers plasma instabilities are an important constraint in x-ray driven inertial confinement fusion. In hohlraums irradiated with 1.06 {mu}m light on the Shiva laser, plasma instabilities were extremely deleterious, driving the program to the use of shorter wavelength light. Excellent coupling has been achieved in hohlraums driven with 0.35 {mu}m light on the Nova laser. Considerable attention is being given to the scaling of this excellent coupling to the larger hohlraums for an ignition target. Various instability control mechanisms such as large plasma wave damping and laser beam incoherence are discussed, as well as scaling experiments to check the instability levels.
Date: October 5, 1994
Creator: Kruer, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Collisionless absorption of light waves incident on overdense plasmas with steep density gradients

Description: Collisionless absorption of laser light incident on overdense plasmas with steep density gradients is studied analytically and numerically. For the normal incidence case, it is shown that both sheath inverse bremsstrahlung and the anomalous skin effect are limiting cases of the same collisionless absorption mechanism. Using particle-in-cell (PIC) plasma simulations, the effects of finite sheath-transit time and finite density gradient are investigated. The analyses are extended to oblique incident cases. For p-polarized obliquely incident light, the results are significantly different from those for the normal incidence case. Most noticeable is the absorption enhancement for the p-polarized light due to the interaction of the electrons with the normal (parallel to the density gradient) component of the laser electric field in the sheath region.
Date: July 31, 1995
Creator: Yang, T. Y. B.; Kruer, W. L. & Langdon, A. B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Absorption of laser light in overdense plasmas by sheath inverse bremsstrahlung

Description: The original sheath inverse bremsstrahlung model [P. J. Catto and R. M. More, 1977] is modified by including the vxB term in the equation of motion. It is shown that the present results axe significantly different from those derived without the vxB term. The vxB term is also important in interpreting the absorption mechanism. If the vxB term were neglected, the absorption of the light would be incorrectly interpreted as an increase in the transverse electron temperature. This would violate the conservation of the transverse components of the canonical momentum, in the case of a normally incident laser light. It is also shown that both the sheath inverse bremsstrahlung and the anomalous skin effect are limiting cases of the same collisionless absorption mechanism. Finally, results from PIC plasma simulations are compared with the absorption coefficient calculated from the linear theory.
Date: November 1, 1994
Creator: Yang, T.Y.B.; Kruer, W.L. & More, R.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser Plasma instability reduction by coherence disruption

Description: The saturation levels of stimulated scattering of intense laser light in plasmas and techniques to reduce these levels are of great interest. A simple model is used to highlight the dependence of the reflectivity on the coherence length for the density fluctuations producing the scattering. Sometimes the coherence lengths can be determined nonlinearly. For NIF hohlraum plasmas, a reduction in the coherence lengths might be engineered in several ways. Finally, electron trapping in ion sound waves is briefly examined as a potentially important effect for the saturation of stimulated Brillouin scattering.
Date: April 19, 2006
Creator: Kruer, W l; Amendt, P A; Meezan, N & Suter, L J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparison of LASNEX calculations with experimental results of parylene disc irradiations at 1.06 $mu$m

Description: Calculations are discussed using the 2D Lagrangian code LASNEX to simulate irradiation of Parylene discs. Using a representation of the experimental beam profile, geometric optics propagation, and an absorption model based on plasma simulations, the scattered light angular intensity distribution can be obtained. The use of a suprathermal electron heating spectrum and thermally generated magnetic fields with Braginskii transport coefficients leads to agreement with time-integrated x-ray spectra and x-ray spatial distributions. Details of the calculations and comparisons with other models are discussed. (auth)
Date: November 1, 1975
Creator: Mead, W.C.; Kruer, W.L.; Lindl, J.D. & Shay, H.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Parametric instabilities in laser/matter interaction: from noise levels to relativistic regimes

Description: The purpose of this LDRD was the study of parametric instabilities on a laser-produced plasma, addressing crucial issues affecting the coupling between the laser and the plasma. We have made very good progress during these three years, in advancing our understanding in many different fronts. Progress was made in both theoretical and experimental areas. The coupling of high-power laser light to a plasma through scattering instabilities is still one of the most complex processes in laser-plasma interaction physics. In spite of the relevance of these parametric processes to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and all other situations where a high-power laser beam couples to a plasma, many aspects of the interaction remain unexplained, even after many years of intensive experimental and theoretical efforts. Important instabilities under study are stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), and the Langmuir decay instability (LDI). The study of these instabilities is further complicated by the competition and interplay between them, and, in the case of ICF, by the presence of multiple overlapping interaction beams. Stimulated Brillouin scattering consists of the decay of the incident electromagnetic (EM) wave into a scattered EM wave and an ion acoustic wave (IAW). Similarly, SRS consists of the decay of the incident EM wave into a scattered EM wave and an electron plasma wave (EPW). Langmuir decay instability is the further decay of an EPW into a secondary EPW and an IAW. The principal areas of research covered during this three-year period were the following: a) Modeling of Parametric Instabilities in Speckles b) Langmuir Decay Instability c) Non Maxwellian Plasmas d) Multiple Interaction Beams e) SBS from Speckle Distributions.
Date: February 11, 1999
Creator: Baldis, H A; Kruer, W L & Labaune, C L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ultra-intense, short pulse laser-plasma interactions with applications to the fast ignitor

Description: Due to the advent of chirped pulse amplification (CPA) as an efficient means of creating ultra-high intensity laser light (I > 5{times}10{sup 17} W/cm{sup 2}) in pulses less than a few picoseconds, new ideas for achieving ignition and gain in DT targets with less than 1 megajoule of input energy are currently being pursued. Two types of powerful lasers are employed in this scheme: (1) channeling beams and (2) ignition beams. The current state of laser-plasma interactions relating to this fusion scheme will be discussed. In particular, plasma physics issues in the ultra-intense regime are crucial to the success of this scheme. We compare simulation and experimental results in this highly nonlinear regime.
Date: April 1, 1995
Creator: Wilks, S. C.; Kruer, W. L.; Young, P. E.; Hammer, J. & Tabak, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HOT ELECTRON ENERGY DISTRIBUTIONS FROM ULTRA-INTENSE LASER SOLID INTERACTIONS

Description: We present experimental data of electron energy distributions from ultra-intense (>10{sup 19} W/cm{sup 2}) laser-solid interactions using the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Vulcan petawatt laser. These measurements were made using a CCD-based magnetic spectrometer. We present details on the distinct effective temperatures that were obtained for a wide variety of targets as a function of laser intensity. It is found that as the intensity increases from 10{sup 17} W/cm{sup 2} to 10{sup 19} W/cm{sup 2}, a 0.4 dependence on the laser intensity is found. Between 10{sup 19} W/cm{sup 2} and 10{sup 20} W/cm{sup 2}, a gradual rolling off of temperature with intensity is observed.
Date: December 8, 2005
Creator: Chen, H; Wilks, S C; Kruer, W L; Moon, S; Patel, N; Patel, P K et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Observation of the saturation of Langmuir waves driven by ponderomotive force in a large scale plasma

Description: We report the observation of amplification of a probe laser beam (I {le} 1 {times} 10{sup 14} W/cm{sup 2}) in a large scale ({approximately} 1 mm) plasma by interaction with a pumping laser beam (I = 2 {times} 10{sup 15} W/cm{sup 2}) and a stimulated Langmuir wave. When the plasma density is adjusted to allow the Langmuir wave dispersion to match the difference frequency and wave number of the two beams, amplification factors as high as {times} 2.5 result. Interpretation of this amplification as scattering of pump beam energy by the Langmuir wave that is produced by the ponderomotive force of the two beams, allows the dependence of Langmuir wave amplitude on ponderomotive force to be measured. It is found that the Langmuir wave amplitude saturates at a level that depends on ion wave damping, and is generally consistent with secondary ion wave instabilities limiting its growth. 20 refs., 4 figs.
Date: June 22, 1997
Creator: Kirkwood, R. K.; Moody, J. D.; MacGowan, B. J.; Glenzer, S. H.; Kruer, W. L.; Estabrook, K. G. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experimental Investigation of Short Scalelength Density Fluctuations in Laser-Produced Plasmas

Description: The technique of near forward laser. scattering is used to infer characteristics of intrinsic and controlled density fluctuations in laser-produced plasmas. Intrinsic fluctuations are studied in long scalelength plasmas where the fluctuations exhibit scale sizes related to the size of the intensity variations in the plasma forming and interaction beams. Stimulated Brillouin forward scattering and filamentation appear to be the primary mechanism through which these fluctuations originate. The beam spray which results from these fluctuations is important to understand since it can affect symmetry in an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiment. Controlled fluctuations are studied in foam and exploding foil targets. Forward scattered light from foam targets shows evidence that the initial target inhomogeneities remain after the target is laser heated. Forward scattered light from an exploding foil plasma shows that a regular intensity pattern can be used to produce a spatially correlated density fluctuation pattern. These results provide data which can be used to benchmark numerical models of beam spray.
Date: November 1, 1999
Creator: Moody, J.D.; MacGowan, B.J.; Glenzer, S.H.; Kirkwood, R.K.; Kruer, W.L.; Williams, E.A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experimental Investigation of Short Scalelength Density Fluctuations in Laser-Produced Plasmas

Description: The technique of near forward laser scattering is used to infer characteristics of intrinsic and controlled density fluctuations in laser-produced plasmas. Intrinsic fluctuations are studied in long-scale length plasmas where we find that the fluctuations exhibit scale sizes related to the intensity variation scales in the plasma-forming and interaction beams. Stimulated Brillouin forward scattering and filamentation appear to be the primary mechanism through which these fluctuations originate. The beam spray resulting from these fluctuations is important to understand since it can affect symmetry in an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiment. Controlled fluctuations are studied in foam and exploding foil targets. Forward scattered light from foam targets shows evidence that the initial target inhomogeneities remain after the target is laser heated. Forward scattered light from an exploding foil plasma shows that a regular intensity pattern can be used to produce a spatially correlated density fluctuation pattern. These results provide data which are being used to benchmark numerical models of beam spray.
Date: January 5, 2000
Creator: Moody, J.D.; MacGowan, B.J.; Glenzer, S.H.; Kirkwood, R.K.; Kruer, W.L.; Montgomery, D.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strongly-driven laser plasma coupling

Description: An improved understanding of strongly-driven laser plasma coupling is important for optimal use of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) for both inertial fusion and for a variety of advanced applications. Such applications range from high energy x- ray sources and high temperature hohlraums to fast ignition and laser radiography. We discuss a novel model for the scaling of strongly-driven stimulated Brillouin and Raman scattering. This model postulates an intensity dependent correlation length associated with spatial incoherence due to filamentation and stimulated forward scattering. We first motivate the model and then relate it to a variety of experiments. Particular attention is paid to high temperature hohlraum experiments, which exhibited low to modest stimulated Brillouin scattering even though this instability was strongly driven. We also briefly discuss the strongly nonlinear interaction physics for efficient generation of high energy electrons either _ by irradiating a large plasma with near quarter-critical density or by irradiating overdense targets with ultra intense laser
Date: June 25, 1998
Creator: Suter, L; Afeyan, B; Campbell, E M; Decker, C D; Kruer, W L; Moody, J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Efficient Coupling of 527 nm Laser Beam Power to a Long Scalelength Plasma

Description: We experimentally demonstrate that application of laser smoothing schemes including smoothing by spectral dispersion (SSD) and polarization smoothing (PS) increases the intensity range for efficient coupling of frequency doubled (527 nm) laser light to a long scalelength plasma with n{sub e}/n{sub cr} = 0.14 and T{sub e} = 2 keV.
Date: August 24, 2005
Creator: Moody, J. D.; Divol, L.; Glenzer, S. H.; MacKinnon, A. J.; Froula, D. H.; Gregori, G. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LSP Calculations of Cone-Wire Experiments

Description: Recent experiments at the Institute of Laser Engineering (ILE) in Japan [1] and at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in the United Kingdom [2] have shown good coupling of short-pulse high-intensity laser light into high-energy electrons channeled down a narrow fiber. Such target configurations are being considered as backlighter targets on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). We will report on LSP calculations of these cone-wire experiments and other candidate target configurations. These calculations also give insight into the transport of MeV-electrons, which remains the critical issue for the achievement of fast ignition [3]. The LSP code uses a direct implicit particle-in-cell (PIC) algorithm in 2 or 3 dimensions to solve for beam particle transport, while treating the background particles as a fluid [4]. We have modified LSP to produce K{alpha} photons in a non-interfering manner and will show calculated absolute K{alpha} yields for the experiments reported by Key [2].
Date: June 13, 2005
Creator: Town, R J; Cottrill, L A; Key, M H; Kruer, W L; Langdon, A B; Lasinski, B F et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department