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Title: Experimental characterization of a transition from collisionless to collisional interaction between head-on-merging supersonic plasma jets

We present results from experiments on the head-on merging of two supersonic plasma jets in an initially collisionless regime for the counter-streaming ions. The plasma jets are of either an argon/impurity or hydrogen/impurity mixture and are produced by pulsed-power-driven railguns. Based on time- and space-resolved fast-imaging, multi-chord interferometry, and survey-spectroscopy measurements of the overlapping region between the merging jets, we observe that the jets initially interpenetrate, consistent with calculated inter-jet ion collision lengths, which are long. As the jets interpenetrate, a rising mean-charge state causes a rapid decrease in the inter-jet ion collision length. Finally, the interaction becomes collisional and the jets stagnate, eventually producing structures consistent with collisional shocks. These experimental observations can aid in the validation of plasma collisionality and ionization models for plasmas with complex equations of state.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22410376
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ARGON; CHARGE STATES; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; HYDROGEN; INTERFEROMETRY; ION COLLISIONS; IONS; PLASMA GUNS; PLASMA IMPURITIES; PLASMA JETS; SPECTROSCOPY; SUPERSONIC FLOW