Physics Colloquium Series
Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, Room 108
Dr. Jon Eggert of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will present "Achieving Planetary-Core Conditions in the Laboratory: Laser-Driven High-Energy-Density-Physics (HEDP) Experiments" on Friday, January 18th at 4:10 pm in EPS 108.
The goal of my research is to experimentally quantify extremely dense matter in the TPa regime (1 TPa = 10 million atmospheres or 3 times the pressure at the center of the earth). These conditions are common in celestial-body interiors throughout the Universe and theoretical predictions suggest that core-electrons dominate atomic interactions at the extreme densities obtained. Recent theoretical and experimental observations suggest that exotic solid states with low symmetry structures, localized valence electrons, and a tendency toward low conductivity are favored. Our group uses very large lasers to compress materials along various thermodynamic pathways including the shock Hugoniot and ramp compression in order to access a wide range of final temperatures. Most of our experiments use one of the two largest lasers in the world, the Omega laser in Rochester, NY (60 beams, 30 kJ, 60 TW), and the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, CA (192 beams, 2MJ, 500 TW). I will introduce the techniques used to obtain and diagnose laser-driven compression. I will also present several experimental techniques we have developed and some recent results of stress-density by wave-profile analysis, phase transitions by thermal analysis, and structure by x-ray diffraction and EXAFS.
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