Compressing magnetic fields with high-energy lasers

J. P. Knauer, O. V. Gotchev, P. Y. Chang, D. D. Meyerhofer, O. Polomarov, R. Betti, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, M. J.E. Manuel, R. D. Petrasso, J. R. Rygg, F. H. Śguin

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Laser-driven magnetic-field compression producing a magnetic field of tens of megaGauss is reported for the first time. A shock wave formed during the implosion of a cylindrical target traps an initial (seed) magnetic field that is amplified via conservation of magnetic flux. Such large fields are expected to magnetize the electrons in the hot, central plasma, leading to a cyclotron frequency exceeding the collision frequency. The Omega Laser Facility [T. R. Boehly, Opt. Commun. 133, 495 (1997)] was used to implode cylindrical CH targets filled with deuterium gas and seeded with an external field (>50 kG) from a magnetic pulse generator. This seed field is trapped and rapidly compressed by the imploding shell, minimizing the effect of resistive flux diffusion. The compressed field was probed via proton deflectrometry using 14.7 MeV protons from the D+ H3 e fusion reaction emitted by an imploding glass microballoon. Line-averaged magnetic fields of the imploded core were measured to between 30 and 40 MG. Experimental data were analyzed with both a magnetohydrodynamic version of the one-dimensional hydrocode LILAC [J. Delettrez, Phys. Rev. A 36, 3926 (1987); N. W. Jang, Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 51, 144 (2006)] and the particle propagation code GEANT4 [S. Agostinelli, Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 506, 250 (2003)].

Original languageEnglish
Article number056318
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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