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Title: Two LANL laboratory astrophysics experiments

Two laboratory experiments are described that have been built at Los Alamos (LANL) to gain access to a wide range of fundamental plasma physics issues germane to astro, space, and fusion plasmas. The overarching theme is magnetized plasma dynamics which includes significant currents, MHD forces and instabilities, magnetic field creation and annihilation, sheared flows and shocks. The Relaxation Scaling Experiment (RSX) creates current sheets and flux ropes that exhibit fully 3D dynamics, and can kink, bounce, merge and reconnect, shred, and reform in complicated ways. Recent movies from a large data set describe the 3D magnetic structure of a driven and dissipative single flux rope that spontaneously self-saturates a kink instability. Examples of a coherent shear flow dynamo driven by colliding flux ropes will also be shown. The Magnetized Shock Experiment (MSX) uses Field reversed configuration (FRC) experimental hardware that forms and ejects FRCs at 150km/sec. This is sufficient to drive a collision less magnetized shock when stagnated into a mirror stopping field region with Alfven Mach number MA=3 so that super critical shocks can be studied. We are building a plasmoid accelerator to drive Mach numbers MA >> 3 to access solar wind and more exotic astrophysical regimes. Uniquemore » features of this experiment include access to parallel, oblique and perpendicular shocks, shock region much larger than ion gyro radii and ion inertial length, room for turbulence, and large magnetic and fluid Reynolds numbers.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1116693
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--14-20436
TRN: US1500369
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); US NASA
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; KINK INSTABILITY; LANL; FIELD-REVERSED THETA PINCH DEVICES; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; SOLAR WIND; ANNIHILATION; PLASMA; ROPES; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; SHEAR; MAGNETIC FIELDS; ACCELERATORS; PLASMOIDS; COLLISIONS; RELAXATION; SCALING LAWS; SHEETS; TURBULENCE; PLASMA MACROINSTABILITIES; SHOCK WAVES` ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; HELLIOSPHERIC PHYSICS; MAGNETOSPHERIC PHYSICS; MAGNETIC FUSION ENERGY; RECONNECTION; DYNAMO; SHEAR FLOW; FLUX ROPE