G. A. Rochau

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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Publications (141)297.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Recently, frequency-resolved iron opacity measurements at electron temperatures of 170–200 eV and electron densities of (0.7–4.0)×1022cm−3 revealed a 30–400% disagreement with the calculated opacities [J. E. Bailey et al., Nature (London) 517, 56 (2015)]. The discrepancies have a high impact on astrophysics, atomic physics, and high-energy density physics, and it is important to verify our understanding of the experimental platform with simulations. Reliable simulations are challenging because the temporal and spatial evolution of the source radiation and of the sample plasma are both complex and incompletely diagnosed. In this article, we describe simulations that reproduce the measured temperature and density in recent iron opacity experiments performed at the Sandia National Laboratories Z facility. The time-dependent spectral irradiance at the sample is estimated using the measured time- and space-dependent source radiation distribution, in situ source-to-sample distance measurements, and a three-dimensional (3D) view-factor code. The inferred spectral irradiance is used to drive 1D sample radiation hydrodynamics simulations. The images recorded by slit-imaged space-resolved spectrometers are modeled by solving radiation transport of the source radiation through the sample. We find that the same drive radiation time history successfully reproduces the measured plasma conditions for eight different opacity experiments. These results provide a quantitative physical explanation for the observed dependence of both temperature and density on the sample configuration. Simulated spectral images for the experiments without the FeMg sample show quantitative agreement with the measured spectral images. The agreement in spectral profile, spatial profile, and brightness provides further confidence in our understanding of the backlight-radiation time history and image formation. These simulations bridge the static-uniform picture of the data interpretation and the dynamic-gradient reality of the experiments, and they will allow us to quantitatively assess the impact of effects neglected in the data interpretation.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments on the Sandia Z pulsed-power accelerator have demonstrated the ability to produce warm dense matter (WDM) states with unprecedented uniformity, duration, and size, which are ideal for investigations of fundamental WDM properties. For the first time, space-resolved x-ray Thomson scattering (XRTS) spectra from shocked carbon foams were recorded on Z. The large (> 20 MA) electrical current produced by Z was used to launch Al flyer plates up to 25 km/s. The impact of the flyer plate on a CH2 foam target produced a shocked state with an estimated pressure of 0.75 Mbar, density of 0.52 g/cm3, and temperature of 4.3 eV. Both unshocked and shocked portions of the foam target were probed with 6.2 keV x-rays produced by focusing the Z-Beamlet laser onto a nearby Mn foil. The data is composed of three spatially distinct spectra that were simultaneously captured with a single spectrometer with high spectral (4.8 eV) and spatial (190 µm) resolutions. Detailed spectral information from three target locations is provided simultaneously: the incident x-ray source, the scattered signal from unshocked foam, and the scattered signal from shocked foam.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · High Energy Density Physics
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed conceptual designs of two petawatt-class pulsed-power accelerators: Z 300 and Z 800. The designs are based on an accelerator architecture that is founded on two concepts: single-stage electrical-pulse compression and impedance matching [Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 10, 030401 (2007)]. The prime power source of each machine consists of 90 linear-transformer-driver (LTD) modules. Each module comprises LTD cavities connected electrically in series, each of which is powered by 5-GW LTD bricks connected electrically in parallel. (A brick comprises a single switch and two capacitors in series.) Six water-insulated radial-transmission-line impedance transformers transport the power generated by the modules to a six-level vacuum-insulator stack. The stack serves as the accelerator’s water-vacuum interface. The stack is connected to six conical outer magnetically insulated vacuum transmission lines (MITLs), which are joined in parallel at a 10-cm radius by a triple-post-hole vacuum convolute. The convolute sums the electrical currents at the outputs of the six outer MITLs, and delivers the combined current to a single short inner MITL. The inner MITL transmits the combined current to the accelerator’s physics-package load. Z 300 is 35 m in diameter and stores 48 MJ of electrical energy in its LTD capacitors. The accelerator generates 320 TW of electrical power at the output of the LTD system, and delivers 48 MA in 154 ns to a magnetized-liner inertial-fusion (MagLIF) target [Phys. Plasmas 17, 056303 (2010)]. The peak electrical power at the MagLIF target is 870 TW, which is the highest power throughout the accelerator. Power amplification is accomplished by the centrally located vacuum section, which serves as an intermediate inductive-energy-storage device. The principal goal of Z 300 is to achieve thermonuclear ignition; i.e., a fusion yield that exceeds the energy transmitted by the accelerator to the liner. 2D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations suggest Z 300 will deliver 4.3 MJ to the liner, and achieve a yield on the order of 18 MJ. Z 800 is 52 m in diameter and stores 130 MJ. This accelerator generates 890 TW at the output of its LTD system, and delivers 65 MA in 113 ns to a MagLIF target. The peak electrical power at the MagLIF liner is 2500 TW. The principal goal of Z 800 is to achieve high-yield thermonuclear fusion; i.e., a yield that exceeds the energy initially stored by the accelerator’s capacitors. 2D MHD simulations suggest Z 800 will deliver 8.0 MJ to the liner, and achieve a yield on the order of 440 MJ. Z 300 and Z 800, or variations of these accelerators, will allow the international high-energy-density- physics community to conduct advanced inertial-confinement-fusion, radiation-physics, material-physics, and laboratory-astrophysics experiments over heretofore-inaccessible parameter regimes.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we explore magnetized liner inertial fusion (MagLIF) [S. A. Slutz et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 056303 (2010)] using a semi-analytic model [R. D. McBride and S. A. Slutz, Phys. Plasmas 22, 052708 (2015)]. Specifically, we present simulation results from this model that: (a) illustrate the parameter space, energetics, and overall system efficiencies of MagLIF; (b) demonstrate the dependence of radiative loss rates on the radial fraction of the fuel that is preheated; (c) explore some of the recent experimental results of the MagLIF program at Sandia National Laboratories [M. R. Gomez et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 155003 (2014)]; (d) highlight the experimental challenges presently facing the MagLIF program; and (e) demonstrate how increases to the preheat energy, fuel density, axial magnetic field, and drive current could affect future MagLIF performance.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Physics of Plasmas
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    ABSTRACT: There is no abstract available for this article.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Physics of Plasmas
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    ABSTRACT: We spectroscopically measure multiple hydrogen Balmer line profiles from laboratory plasmas to investigate the theoretical line profiles used in white dwarf atmosphere models. X-ray radiation produced at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories initiates plasma formation in a hydrogen-filled gas cell, replicating white dwarf photospheric conditions. Here we present time-resolved measurements of H$\beta$ and fit this line using different theoretical line profiles to diagnose electron density, $n_{\rm e}$, and $n=2$ level population, $n_2$. Aided by synthetic tests, we characterize the validity of our diagnostic method for this experimental platform. During a single experiment, we infer a continuous range of electron densities increasing from $n_{\rm e}\sim4$ to $\sim30\times10^{16}\,$cm$^{-3}$ throughout a 120-ns evolution of our plasma. Also, we observe $n_2$ to be initially elevated with respect to local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE); it then equilibrates within $\sim55\,$ns to become consistent with LTE. This supports our electron-temperature determination of $T_{\rm e}\sim1.3\,$eV ($\sim15,000\,$K) after this time. At $n_{\rm e}\gtrsim10^{17}\,$cm$^{-3}$, we find that computer-simulation-based line-profile calculations provide better fits (lower reduced $\chi^2$) than the line profiles currently used in the white dwarf astronomy community. The inferred conditions, however, are in good quantitative agreement. This work establishes an experimental foundation for the future investigation of relative shapes and strengths between different hydrogen Balmer lines.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: By magnetizing the fusion fuel in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) systems, the required stagnation pressure and density can be relaxed dramatically. This happens because the magnetic field insulates the hot fuel from the cold pusher and traps the charged fusion burn products. This trapping allows the burn products to deposit their energy in the fuel, facilitating plasma self-heating. Here, we report on a comprehensive theory of this trapping in a cylindrical DD plasma magnetized with a purely axial magnetic field. Using this theory, we are able to show that the secondary fusion reactions can be used to infer the magnetic field-radius product, BR, during fusion burn. This parameter, not ρR, is the primary confinement parameter in magnetized ICF. Using this method, we analyze data from recent Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion experiments conducted on the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. We show that in these experiments BR ≈ 0.34(+0.14/−0.06) MG cm, a ∼ 14× increase in BR from the initial value, and confirming that the DD-fusion tritons are magnetized at stagnation. This is the first experimental verification of charged burn product magnetization facilitated by compression of an initial seed magnetic flux.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Physics of Plasmas
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    ABSTRACT: The magnetized liner inertial fusion concept [S. A. Slutz et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 056303 (2010)] utilizes a magnetic field and laser heating to relax the pressure requirements of inertial confinement fusion. The first experiments to test the concept [M. R. Gomez et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 155003 (2014)] were conducted utilizing the 19 MA, 100 ns Z machine, the 2.5 kJ, 1 TW Z Beamlet laser, and the 10 T Applied B-field on Z system. Despite an estimated implosion velocity of only 70 km/s in these experiments, electron and ion temperatures at stagnation were as high as 3 keV, and thermonuclear deuterium-deuterium neutron yields up to 2 × 1012 have been produced. X-ray emission from the fuel at stagnation had widths ranging from 50 to 110 μm over a roughly 80% of the axial extent of the target (6–8 mm) and lasted approximately 2 ns. X-ray yields from these experiments are consistent with a stagnation density of the hot fuel equal to 0.2–0.4 g/cm3. In these experiments, up to 5 × 1010 secondary deuterium-tritium neutrons were produced. Given that the areal density of the plasma was approximately 1–2 mg/cm2, this indicates the stagnation plasma was significantly magnetized, which is consistent with the anisotropy observed in the deuterium-tritium neutron spectra. Control experiments where the laser and/or magnetic field were not utilized failed to produce stagnation temperatures greater than 1 keV and primary deuterium-deuterium yields greater than 1010. An additional control experiment where the fuel contained a sufficient dopant fraction to substantially increase radiative losses also failed to produce a relevant stagnation temperature. The results of these experiments are consistent with a thermonuclear neutron source.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Physics of Plasmas
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    ABSTRACT: Large diameter multi-shell gas puffs rapidly imploded by high current (∼20 MA, ∼100 ns) on the Z generator of Sandia National Laboratories are able to produce high-intensity Krypton K-shell emission at ∼13 keV. Efficiently radiating at these high photon energies is a significant challenge which requires the careful design and optimization of the gas distribution. To facilitate this, we hydrodynamically model the gas flow out of the nozzle and then model its implosion using a 3-dimensional resistive, radiative MHD code (GORGON). This approach enables us to iterate between modeling the implosion and gas flow from the nozzle to optimize radiative output from this combined system. Guided by our implosion calculations, we have designed gas profiles that help mitigate disruption from Magneto-Rayleigh-Taylor implosion instabilities, while preserving sufficient kinetic energy to thermalize to the high temperatures required for K-shell emission.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Physics of Plasmas
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    ABSTRACT: The application of a space-resolving spectrometer to X-ray Thomson Scattering (XRTS) experiments has the potential to advance the study of warm dense matter. This has motivated the design of a spherical crystal spectrometer, which is a doubly focusing geometry with an overall high sensitivity and the capability of providing high-resolution, space-resolved spectra. A detailed analysis of the image fluence and crystal throughput in this geometry is carried out and analytical estimates of these quantities are presented. This analysis informed the design of a new spectrometer intended for future XRTS experiments on the Z-machine. The new spectrometer collects 6 keV x-rays with a spherically bent Ge (422) crystal and focuses the collected x-rays onto the Rowland circle. The spectrometer was built and then tested with a foam target. The resulting high-quality spectra prove that a spherical spectrometer is a viable diagnostic for XRTS experiments.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The Review of scientific instruments
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    ABSTRACT: Argon gas puffs have produced 330 kJ ± 9% of x-ray radiation above 3 keV photon energy in fast z-pinch implosions, with remarkably reproducible K-shell spectra and power pulses. This reproducibility in x-ray production is particularly significant in light of the variations in instability evolution observed between experiments. Soft x-ray power measurements and K-shell line ratios from a time-resolved spectrum at peak x-ray power suggest that plasma gradients in these high-mass pinches may limit the K-shell radiating mass, K-shell power, and K-shell yield from high-current gas puffs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Physics of Plasmas

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Nearly a century ago it was recognized1 that radiation absorption by stellar matter controls the internal temperature profiles within stars. Laboratory opacity measurements, however, have never been performed at stellar interior conditions, introducing uncertainties in stellar models2-5. A particular problem arose2,3,6-8 when refined photosphere spectral analysis9,10 led to reductions of 30-50 per cent in the inferred amounts of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in the Sun. Standard solar models11 using the revised element abundances disagree with helioseismic observations that determine the internal solar structure using acoustic oscillations. This could be resolved if the true mean opacity for the solar interior matter were roughly 15 per cent higher than predicted2,3,6-8, because increased opacity compensates for thedecreased element abundances. Iron accounts for a quarter of the total opacity2,12 at the solar radiation/convection zone boundary. Here we report measurements of wavelength-resolved iron opacity at electron temperatures of 1.9-2.3 million kelvin and electron densities of (0.7-4.0)31022 per cubic centimetre, conditions very similar to those inthe solar region that affects thediscrepancy themost: the radiation/convection zone boundary. Themeasured wavelengthdependent opacity is 30-400 per cent higher than predicted. This represents roughly half the change in the mean opacity needed to resolve the solar discrepancy, even though iron is only one of many elements that contribute to opacity.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: The refurbished Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories has been successfully configured to drive gas-puff Z pinches. A series of experiments using Ar loads produced K-shell yields of 330 ± 9% kJ, with highly reproducible K-shell spectra and power pulses. Using spectroscopic and power data, we are able to constrain the properties of both the cold, non-K-shell radiating mass as well as the hot K-shell component of the pinch plasma. As in previous gas-puff shots on the original version of Z, only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the load mass was heated to temperatures sufficient to produce K-shell x-rays.
    Preview · Conference Paper · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Radiation magnetohydrodynamic r-z simulations are performed of recent Ar shots on the refurbished Z generator to examine the effective ion temperature as determined from the observed line width of the He-γ line. While many global radiation properties can be matched to experimental results, the Doppler shifts due to velocity gradients at stagnation cannot reproduce the large experimentally determined width corresponding to an effective ion temperature of 50 keV. Ion viscous heating or magnetic bubbles are considered, but understanding the width remains an unsolved challenge.
    Preview · Conference Paper · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Sandia's Z Machine uses its high current to magnetically implode targets relevant to inertial confinement fusion. Since target performance is highly dependent on the applied drive field, measuring magnetic field at the target is essential for accurate simulations. Recently, the magnetic field at the target was measured through splitting of the sodium 3s-3p doublet at 5890 and 5896 Å. Spectroscopic dopants were applied to the exterior of the target, and spectral lines were observed in absorption. Magnetic fields in excess of 200 T were measured, corresponding to drive currents of approximately 5 MA early in the pulse.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Review of Scientific Instruments
  • Ming Wu · Ken Moy · Craig Kruschwitz · Greg Rochau
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    ABSTRACT: MCP detector performance at hard x-ray energies from 6 to 25 keV was recently investigated using NSLS beamline X15A at BNL. Measurements were made with an NSTec Gen-II (H-CA-65) framing camera, based on a Photonis MCP with ̃10 μm in diameter pores, ̃12 μm center-center spacing, an L/D ratio of 46, and a bias angle of 8°. The MCP characterizations were focused on (1) energy and angle dependent sensitivity, (2) energy and angle dependent spatial resolution, (3) energy dependent gain performance, and (4) energy dependent dynamic range. These measurement corroborated simulation results using a Monte Carlo model that included hard x-ray interactions and the subsequent electron cascade in the MCP.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Review of Scientific Instruments
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    ABSTRACT: Our preliminary results from laboratory experiments studying white dwarf (WD) photospheres show a systematic difference between experimental plasma conditions inferred from measured H$\beta$ absorption line profiles versus those from H$\gamma$. One hypothesis for this discrepancy is an inaccuracy in the relative theoretical line profiles of these two transitions. This is intriguing because atmospheric parameters inferred from H Balmer lines in observed WD spectra show systematic trends such that inferred surface gravities decrease with increasing principal quantum number, $n$. If conditions inferred from lower-$n$ Balmer lines are indeed more accurate, this suggests that spectroscopically determined DA WD masses may be greater than previously thought and in better agreement with the mean mass determined from gravitational redshifts.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetizing the fuel in inertial confinement fusion relaxes ignition requirements by reducing thermal conductivity and changing the physics of burn product confinement. Diagnosing the level of fuel magnetization during burn is critical to understanding target performance in magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) implosions. In pure deuterium fusion plasma, 1.01 MeV tritons are emitted during deuterium-deuterium fusion and can undergo secondary deuterium-tritium reactions before exiting the fuel. Increasing the fuel magnetization elongates the path lengths through the fuel of some of the tritons, enhancing their probability of reaction. Based on this feature, a method to diagnose fuel magnetization using the ratio of overall deuterium-tritium to deuterium-deuterium neutron yields is developed. Analysis of anisotropies in the secondary neutron energy spectra further constrain the measurement. Secondary reactions also are shown to provide an upper bound for the volumetric fuel-pusher mix in MIF. The analysis is applied to recent MIF experiments [M. R. Gomez et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 155003 (2014)] on the Z Pulsed Power Facility, indicating that significant magnetic confinement of charged burn products was achieved and suggesting a relatively low-mix environment. Both of these are essential features of future ignition-scale MIF designs.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: This Letter presents results from the first fully integrated experiments testing the magnetized liner inertial fusion concept [S. A. Slutz et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 056303 (2010)], in which a cylinder of deuterium gas with a preimposed 10 Taxial magnetic field is heated by Z beamlet, a 2.5 kJ, 1 TW laser, and magnetically imploded by a 19 MA, 100 ns rise time current on the Z facility. Despite a predicted peak implosion velocity of only 70 km/s, the fuel reaches a stagnation temperature of approximately 3 keV, with T-e approximate to T-i, and produces up to 2 x 10(12) thermonuclear deuterium-deuterium neutrons. X-ray emission indicates a hot fuel region with full width at half maximum ranging from 60 to 120 mu m over a 6 mm height and lasting approximately 2 ns. Greater than 10(10) secondary deuterium-tritium neutrons were observed, indicating significant fuel magnetization given that the estimated radial areal density of the plasma is only 2 mg/cm(2).
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Physical Review Letters