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Investigation of wire-array Z-pinches by laser probing diagnostics
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Laser diagnostics provides powerful tools for the investigation of dense Z-pinches. In this paper, wire-array Z-pinches are investigated at the 1 MA Zebra generator using laser diagnostics at different wavelengths coupled with x-ray diagnostics. Plasma dynamics during the ablation, implosion, and stagnation stages are observed by multiframe diagnostics. Cascading and non precursor implosions are studied in wire arrays. Ultraviolet diagnostics allows deep penetration into the Z-pinch plasma at stagnation. End-on probing reveals the complicated structure of the precursor. Strong magnetohydrodynamic instabilities are found in a dense pinch hidden in the trailing plasma. Small-scale instabilities are seen in the Z-pinch plasma with micrometer resolution. Probing of the pinch from four directions shows asymmetrical trailing plasma in some configurations of wire arrays. Faraday rotation diagnostics reveals the magnetic fields and the current distribution in the plasma of the precursor and Z-pinch. Redistribution of current in the trailing plasma is seen during kink and sausage instabilities in the stagnation stage. The formation of micropinches and hot spots in the Z-pinch is analyzed with coupled laser and x-ray diagnostics. Different laser diagnostics allow the study of Z-pinch plasmas in all stages, including fast dynamics and instabilities. (C) 2019 Author(s).