A pinboard by
JJ Ruby

Graduate Student, University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics


Compressing matter to extreme states and making measurements of it.

We compress matter to multi-gigabar pressures using the world's most powerful laser systems. At these conditions the electrons are liberated from the nuclei creating a fluid of ions and electrons. The ions interact with each other through nuclear processes and release neutrons which are measure. The electrons interact through electromagnetic processes and release x-ray radiation which is measure. These two measurments allow us to constrain what is occurring deep within this extreme state of matter. The densities and temperatures found here are comparable to the interior of stars and understanding how the material behaves under these conditions is very important for our ability to accurately model stars. These stellar models are used throughout astrophysics and behind many calculations done within the field, so eliminating any errors in them will have far reaching implications. Another motivation for the research is the pursuit of sustainable fusion energy. This system is a simplified model of an inertial confinement fusion experiment. The benefit of it a simpler system is it allows us to understand the underlying physical process without the complexity of a full fusion experiment. Therefore we can better understand what conditions need to be achieved in a full experiment in order to get the most efficient burning of nuclear material we can.