Experimental evidence and theoretical analysis of photoionized plasma under x-ray radiation produced by an intense laser

Wang, Fei-lu; Fujioka, Shinsuke; Nishimura, Hiroaki; Kato, Daiji; Li, Yu-tong; Zhao, Gang; Zhang, Jie; Takabe, Hideaki
July 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Jul2008, Vol. 15 Issue 7, p073108
Academic Journal
Photoionized plasma was studied experimentally under laboratory conditions by means of high intensity short pulse lasers. The experiment consists of a gold cavity filled with nitrogen gas. Six laser beams were focused on the inner surface of the gold cavity, thereby generating an almost black-body radiation having temperature of 80 eV inside the cavity. This radiation heats the nitrogen gas mainly by means of photoionization. L-shell emissions from N V to N VII have been observed in the wavelength range between 90 and 200 Å. A time-dependent Detailed Configuration Accounting computer program has been developed to analyze the experimental spectra. In contrast to standard analysis of astrophysical observations, the evidence for photoionization is inferred from the spectral lines ratios. Comparison between the experimental and simulated line spectra indicates that the radiation heated nitrogen attains temperature of 20–30 eV, much lower than the source radiation temperature. Paradoxically, it is also shown that similar line emissions can be reproduced computationally also when the radiation and plasma temperatures both equal approximately 60 eV. This misleading result indicates that experimental simulation in laboratory is sometimes necessary to avoid misinterpretation of astrophysical spectra.


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