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Numerical Investigation of Magnetically Driven Isentropic Compression of Solid Aluminum Cylinders with a Semi-Analytical Code
AuthorLargent, Billy T.
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The state of matter at extremely high pressures and densities is of fundamental interest to many branches of research, including planetary science, material science, condensed matter physics, and plasma physics. Matter with pressures, or energy densities, above 1 megabar (100 gigapascal) are defined as High Energy Density (HED) plasmas. They are directly relevant to the interiors of planets such as Earth and Jupiter and to the dense fuels in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiments. To create HEDP conditions in laboratories, a sample may be compressed by a smoothly varying pressure ramp with minimal temperature increase, following the isentropic thermodynamic process. Isentropic compression of aluminum targets has been done using magnetic pressure produced by megaampere, pulsed power currents having ~ 100 ns rise times. In this research project, magnetically driven, cylindrical isentropic compression has been numerically studied. In cylindrical geometry, material compression and pressure become higher than in planar geometry due to geometrical effects. Based on a semi-analytical model for the Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion (MagLIF) concept, a code called “SA” was written to design cylindrical compression experiments on the 1.0 MA Zebra pulsed power generator at the Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF). To test the physics models in the code, temporal progresses of rod compression and pressure were calculated with SA and compared with 1-D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) codes. The MHD codes incorporated SESAME tables, for equation of state and resistivity, or the classical Spitzer model. A series of simulations were also run to find optimum rod diameters for 1.0 MA and 1.8 MA Zebra current pulses. For a 1.0 MA current peak and 95 ns rise time, a maximum compression of ~ 2.35 (~ 6.3 g/cm^3) and a pressure of ~ 900 GPa within a 100 μm radius were found for an initial diameter of 1.05 mm. For 1.8 MA peak simulations with the same rise time, the initial diameter of 1.3 mm was optimal with ~ 3.32 (~ 9.0 g/cm^3) compression.