first void collapse papers out

Experimental and simulated XPCI of void collapse
Figure 6 from Hodge et al., comparing the experimental XPCI images with simulated ones.

Our collaborator, Arianna Gleason (SLAC), has been leading a campaign on ultrafast imaging of the collapse of small voids. Small voids are found as material defects in ablator layer of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) targets, and they hydrodynamically interfere with the convergence of the target so the fuel doesn’t get up to the desired pressure and density. However, since it happens so fast, it’s really hard to see this shock-void interaction detail — enter LCLS + ultrafast x-ray imaging.

The campaign just produced its first papers: Silvia Pandolfi, a postdoc at Stanford, just published a paper on the target fab process for the campaign (Review of Scientific Instruments), and Daniel Hodge, a grad student at BYU, just published a paper about the imaging and the post-processing (Optics Express). Congrats to them both! You can find Kelin’s xRAGE simulations and synthetic PCI images in Daniel’s paper.

Nitish wins a Horton Fellowship

nitish acharyaThe Frank J. Horton Graduate Research Fellowships are awarded to U of R students whose research supports the program at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). Nitish has been working with Hussein and myself on a number of high energy density flow problems, and is PI on a pilot experimental campaign on OMEGA-EP to measure viscosity in fused silica. He also recently published a paper on shock-particle interactions on a stiff-gas method to approximate solid-like resistance of compressible particles, since material strength models are difficult to implement in rad-hydro codes. Well-deserved for Nitish. Congrats!

LBS shot kickoff

Yesterday we kicked off XPIV platform development on OMEGA-EP with Laboratory for Basic Science (LBS) experiments headed by Arianna Gleason (SLAC) and Danae Polsin (LLE). It was a long day with exciting and puzzling twists and turns. We learned a lot, and are looking forward to our LBS shots in the next fiscal year! Big thanks to the grad students who turned out to help and to LLE shot ops for a successful day. Supported by DOE and NNSA.

new grant (DOE)

We will be receiving a grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to use coherent light sources to probe the dynamic properties of fluids, along with co-PIs Hussein Aluie, Riccardo Betti, and Ryan Rygg. We will be looking for a PhD student to work on this project. If you are interested in using massive lasers to study fundamental physics — who isn’t? — keep an eye for an official posting with desired qualifications.