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Jet Formation and Current Transfer in X-Pinches



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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE VOL 34 NO 5 OCTOBER 2006 2325 Jet Formation and Current Transfer in X Pinches F N Beg Member IEEE A Ciardi I Ross Y Zhu A E Dangor and K Krushelnick Abstract Observations of X pinch discharges driven by a 160 kA 80 ns pulse current are reported X pinches consisting of aluminum and molybdenum mounted at different angles 120 and 83 were studied Coronal plasma streaming which is perpendicular to the wires toward the midplane of the X pinch was observed to form jets moving toward the electrodes on the either side of the cross point The jet velocity 2 5 106 cm s 1 is similar for both molybdenum and aluminum wires and is slightly larger for the narrow angle 83 The jets were observed to show kink m 1 mode instability at late times after the jets had come into contact with the electrodes This is due to a transfer of current to the jet The experimental results agree qualitatively with three dimensional resistive MHD simulations which include radiation The jets produced in X pinches may be relevant to the study of astrophysical jets Index Terms Jets m 1 instability X pinch I I NTRODUCTION X PINCHES have been studied for many years primarily with regard to the application as an efficient X ray h 1 10 keV backlighter source for diagnosing dense plasmas However X pinches 1 and references therein can also have exotic properties up to Te 1 keV ne 1022 cm 3 and consequently they are a convenient and lowcost medium for the study of high energy density 1011 J m3 2 and radiation dominated plasma In an X pinch discharge a large current is pulsed through the two wires which are arranged in the form of an X between the electrodes At the cross point where the two wires make contact i e at a predetermined position the currents combine to pinch and produce a small blob of hot dense plasma The magnetic field is at least a factor of two larger at the cross point than in the individual wires This dense region of the plasma emits a copious amount of intense X



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