Stability of metal-puff Z pinches was studied experimentally. Experiments were carried out on a facility producing a load current up to 450 kA with a rise time of 450ns. In a metal-puff Z pinch, the plasma shell is produced due to evaporation of the electrode material during the operation of a vacuum arc. In the experiment to be reported, a single-shell and a shell-on-jet pinch load with magnesium electrodes were used. Two-dimensional, 3 ns gated, visible-light images were taken at different times during the implosion. When the shell was formed from a collimated plasma flow with small radial divergence, Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability typical of gas-puff implosions was recorded. The RT instability was completely suppressed in a mode where the initial density distribution of the shell approached a tailored density profile [A. L. Velikovich et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 853 (1996)].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics