Experimental study of the equation of state of isochorically heated warm dense matter
MetadataShow full item record
We have performed a series of experiments developing the techniques of volumetric, isochoric heating of matter to high energy density states, and the subsequent probing of the release isentrope. Using ultrafast, ultra intense laser systems with pulse lengths from 100fs - 1ps and pulse energies between 2 J and 100 J, we generated strong secondary radiation, in the form of K[subscript alpha] x-rays and directed proton beams, which we used to rapidly heat a foil sample to temperatures from ~ 1 eV to ~ 25 eV at solid density, thus entering the strongly coupled, partially ionized regime of warm dense matter, in which the equation of state is poorly understood. The first set of experiments examines the possibility of using laser generated K[subscript alpha] x-rays in isochoric heating experiments and concludes that this technique will require the use of higher energies and higher Z materials than were used in this thesis to achieve warm dense matter conditions. In the second set of experiments, we used an ultrafast, lasergenerated proton beam with a temperature of ~ 2 MeV and cutoff energy of ~ 40 MeV to volumetrically and isochorically heat a sample foil to > 20 eV. With singleshot diagnostics, we measured the evolution of the temperature with 3:3 ps resolution over the _rst 35 ps of expansion by streaked optical pyrometry, and measured the evolution of the target expansion over the same timescale with sub-ps resolution by chirped pulse interferometry. In this way we were able to verify the equation of state and ion-balance in the SESAME equation of state tables with a Saha ionization model and distinguish this as more accurate than other, simpler models. This thesis establishes an experimental framework for acquiring equation of state data in the regime of warm dense matter that is distinct and complimentary to that acquired by the techniques of shock heating.