Plasma Closure and Current Losses in a Post-Hole Convolute

Matthew Gomez, University of Michigan

In pulsed power experiments, multiple current sources can be combined using a post-hole convolute to increase the current delivered to the load. Several large scale experiments currently use a post-hole convolute (including the Z-Machine and Saturn accelerators), but the physics of the device are not well understood. After a recent upgrade of the Z-Machine, the current losses in the post-hole convolute increased significantly.

In these experiments we intend to monitor plasma closure of the anode-cathode gap. We will attempt to correlate plasma closure with current losses. Current before and after the convolute will be monitored with a number of calibrated b-dot monitors. Plasma will be monitored both spectroscopically and through open pinhole cameras. Particle-In-Cell simulations of the experiment may also be included.

Abstract Author(s): M. R. Gomez, D. M. French, R. M. Gilgenbach, J. C. Zier, A. H. Thurtell