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This paper provides a summary of recent research connected with the shock ignition (SI) concept of the inertial confinement fusion which was carried out at PALS. In the experiments, Cu planar targets coated with a thin CH layer were used. Two-beam irradiation experiment was applied to investigate the effect of preliminary produced plasma to shock-wave generation. The 1ω or 3ω main beam with a high intensity >1015 W/cm2 generates shock wave, while the other 1ω beam with the intensity below 1014 W/cm2 creates CH pre-plasma simulating the pre-compressed plasma related to SI. Influence of laser wavelength on absorbed energy transfer to shock wave was studied by means of femtosecond interferometry and measuring the crater volume. To characterize the hot electron and ion emission, two-dimensional (2D) Kα-imaging of Cu plasma and grid collector measurements were used. In single 1ω beam experiments energy transport by fast electrons produced by resonant absorption made a significant contribution to shock-wave pressure. However, two-beam experiments with 1ω main beam show that the pre-plasma is strongly degrading the scalelength which leads to decreasing the fast electron energy contribution to shock pressure. In both the single 3ω beam experiments and the two-beam experiments with the 3ω main beam, do not show any clear influence of fast electron transport on shock-wave pressure. The non-monotonic behavior of the scalelength at changing the laser beam focal radius in both presence and absence of pre-plasma reflects the competition of plasma motion and electron heat conduction under the conditions of one-dimensional and 2D plasma expansion at large and small focal radii, respectively.
Three clayey materials named MY3, KK and KG originating from the Foumban region (west Cameroon) were analysed to determine their granulometry, plasticity, major-element chemistry and mineralogy. Dilatometric and ceramic behaviour were also investigated. Clays were shaped by uniaxial pressing in a steel mould. Shaped samples were heated at 1300, 1400 and 1500°C. The end products were characterized in terms of their density, porosity and compressive strength. Raw materials differ in terms of their mineralogical composition, grain-size distribution, Al2O3 content and the nature and abundance of impurities inducing specific thermal behaviour during dilatometric analysis and sintering tests. The final material properties may be related to the main features of the raw materials used.
The experimental study of the plasma projectile acceleration in the laser-induced cavity pressure acceleration (LICPA) scheme is reported. In the experiment performed at the kilojoule PALS laser facility, the parameters of the projectile were measured using interferometry, a streak camera and ion diagnostics, and the measurements were supported by two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations. It is shown that in the LICPA accelerator with a 200-J laser driver, a 4-μg gold plasma projectile is accelerated to the velocity of 140 km/s with the energetic acceleration efficiency of 15–19% which is significantly higher than those achieved with the commonly used ablative acceleration and the highest among the ones measured so far for any projectiles accelerated to the velocities ≥100 km/s. This achievement opens the possibility of creation and investigation of high-energy-density matter states with the use of moderate-energy lasers and may also have an impact on the development of the impact ignition approach to inertial confinement fusion.
During the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), feedback effects reduce the efficiency of star formation process in small halos or even fully quench it. The galaxy luminosity function (LF) may then turn over at the faint-end. We analyze the number counts of z > 5 galaxies observed in the fields of four Frontier Fields (FFs) clusters and obtain constraints on the LF faint-end: for the turn-over magnitude at z ∼ 6, MUVT ≳-13.3; for the circular velocity threshold of quenching star formation process, vc* ≲ 47 km s−1. We have not yet found significant evidence of the presence of feedback effects suppressing the star formation in small galaxies.
The paper is a continuation of research carried out at Prague Asterix Laser System (PALS) related to the shock ignition (SI) approach in inertial fusion, which was carried out with use of 1ω main laser beam as the main beam generating a shock wave. Two-layer targets were used, consisting of Cu massive planar target coated with a thin polyethylene layer, which, in the case of two-beam irradiation geometry, simulate conditions related to the SI scenario. The investigations presented in this paper are related to the use of 3ω to create ablation pressure for high-power shock wave generation. The interferometric studies of the ablative plasma expansion, complemented by measurements of crater volumes and Kα emission, clearly demonstrate the effect of changing the incident laser intensity due to changing the focal radius on efficiency of laser energy transfer to a shock wave and fast electron emission. The efficiency of the energy transfer increases with the radius of the focused laser beam. The pre-plasma does not significantly change the character of this effect. However, it unambiguously results in the increasing temperature of fast electrons, the total energy of which remains very small (<0.1% of the laser energy). This study shows that the optimal radius from the point of view of 3ω radiation energy transfer to the shock wave is the maximal one used in these experiments and equal to 200 µm that corresponds to the minimal effect of two-dimensional (2D)-expansion. Such a result is typical for the ablation process determined by electron conductivity energy transfer under the conditions of one-dimensional or 2D matter expansion without any appreciable effect due to energy transfer by fast electrons. The 2D simulations based on application of the ALANT-HE code and an analytical model that includes generation and transport of hot electrons has been used to support of experimental data.
The effect of laser intensity on characteristics of the plasma ablated from a low-Z (CH) planar target irradiated by a 250 ps, 0.438 µm laser pulse with the intensity of up to 1016 W/cm2 as well as on parameters of the laser-driven shock generated in the target for various scale-lengths of preformed plasma was investigated at the kilojoule Prague Asterix Laser System (PALS) laser facility. Characteristics of the plasma were measured with the use of 3-frame interferometry, ion diagnostics, an X-ray spectrometer, and Kα imaging. Parameters of the shock generated in a Cl doped CH target by the intense 3ω laser pulse were inferred by numerical hydrodynamic simulations from the measurements of craters produced by the shock in the massive Cu target behind the CH layer. It was found that the pressure of the shock generated in the plastic layer is relatively weakly influenced by the preplasma (the pressure drop due to the preplasma presence is ~10–20%) and at the pulse intensity of ~1016 W/cm2 the maximum pressure reaches ~80–90 Mbar. However, an increase in pressure of the shock with the laser intensity is slower than predicted by theory for a planar shock and the maximum pressure achieved in the experiment is by a factor of ~2 lower than predicted by the theory. Both at the preplasma absence and presence, the laser-to-hot electrons energy conversion efficiency is small, ~1% or below, and the influence of hot electrons on the generated shock is expected to be weak.
This paper reports on properties of a plasma formed by sequential action of two laser beams on a flat target, simulating the conditions of shock-ignited inertial confinement fusion target exposure. The experiments were performed using planar targets consisting of a massive copper (Cu) plate coated with a thin plastic (CH) layer, which was irradiated by the 1ω PALS laser beam (λ = 1.315 μm) at the energy of 250 J. The intensity of the fixed-energy laser beam was scaled by varying the focal spot radius. To imitate shock ignition conditions, the lower-intensity auxiliary 1ω beam created CH-pre-plasma which was irradiated by the main beam with a delay of 1.2 ns, thus generating a shock wave in the massive part of the target. To study the parameters of the plasma treated by the two-beam irradiation of the targets, a set of various diagnostics was applied, namely: (i) Two-channel polaro-interferometric system irradiated by the femtosecond laser (~40 fs), (ii) spectroscopic measurements in the X-ray range, (iii) two-dimensional (2D)-resolved imaging of the Kα line emission from Cu, (iv) measurements of the ion emission by means of ion collectors, and (v) measurements of the volume of craters produced in a massive target providing information on the efficiency of the laser energy transfer to the shock wave. The 2D numerical simulations have been used to support the interpretation of experimental data. The general conclusion is that the fraction of the main laser beam energy deposited into the massive copper at two-beam irradiation decreases in comparison with the case of pre-plasma. The reason is that the pre-formed and expanding plasma deteriorates the efficiency of the energy transfer from the main laser pulse to a solid part of the targets by means of the fast electrons and the wave of an electron thermal conductivity.
A space-resolved charge density of ions is derived from a time-resolved current of ions emitted from laser-produced plasma and expanded into the vacuum along collision-free and field-free paths. This derivation is based on a similarity relationship for ion currents with “frozen” charges observed at different distances from the target. This relationship makes it possible to determine a map of ion charge density at selected times after the laser plasma interaction from signals of time-of-flight detectors positioned at a certain distance from the target around a target-surface normal. In this work, we present maps of the charge density of ions emitted from Cu and polyethylene plasmas. The mapping demonstrates that bursts of ions are emitted at various ejection angles ϕn with respect to the target-surface normal. There are two basic directions ϕ1 and ϕ2, one belonging to the fastest ions, i.e., protons and carbon ions, and the other one to the slowest ions being a part of each plasma plume.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains as an important public health problem worldwide. Therefore, the rapid detection of M. tuberculosis is of primary importance to effectively reduce transmission in patients. The aims of this study were to evaluate two in-house molecular tests: nested PCR (nPCR) and real-time PCR (rtPCR) to detect M. tuberculosis complex directly from clinical samples. The results were compared to the culture results and to the culture results plus clinical data of patients. The rtPCR and nPCR presented high sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) (rtPCR 97·6% and 91·5%, nPCR 85·7% and 92·7%, respectively) compared to culture. When the results of the molecular tests were compared to the culture plus clinical data the Se and Sp were 90·2% and 97·3% for rtPCR and 80·4% and 98·6% for the nPCR, respectively. The results demonstrated that molecular assays of M. tuberculosis can provide a sensitive and rapid diagnostic of TB, and when used in addition to the clinical data of TB patients will help to improve the Sp of the diagnosis of pulmonary TB.
The risks of flooding in rice production include losses that can affect some 13 million ha of rice lands in Southeast Asia. This study integrated social and gender perspectives into the varietal evaluation process to contribute to planned faster uptake of submergence-tolerant rice (Sub1) varieties. In this study, the participatory varietal selection (PVS) process was used in eliciting male and female farmers' opinions with respect to selecting popular varieties with the SUB1 gene introgressed, for added tolerance of flash floods of up to two weeks. Fifteen Sub1 varieties and the farmers' local check were tested under the PVS researcher-managed (PVS-RM) trials, which involved farmers' preference analysis (PA). The farmers tested the pre-selected lines with the SUB1 gene in their own fields to further evaluate their performance under varying conditions. During flooding, farmers experienced lower production depending on water depth, timing with respect to rice growth stage, duration, frequency of occurrence and quality. On-farm PA results showed wide variability in the performance of the Sub1 varieties compared with local popular varieties. This implies the need for further testing of pre-released lines in terms of adaptability and the continuous development of rice genotypes for varying flood-prone rice ecosystems. Women are as knowledgeable as men because of the significant roles they play in rice production and food preparation. Moreover, farmers and breeders have almost the same criteria in choosing the best performing rice lines. Sensory tests revealed the eating and cooking qualities important to farmers. The findings of this study can provide feedback to breeding programmes to ensure a greater likelihood of adoption and ultimately increasing rice productivity in submergence-prone rice areas.
For the first time Li+ cations have been localized within the perovskite structure of the fast Liconductor La0 5Li0.5TiO3 from neutron powder diffraction data. Li cations are fourfold oxygen coordinated, located in the middle of the almost square windows determined by every four TiO6 octahedra, far away from the 12-fold coordinated La vacancy sites that, nevertheless, take part of the path for Li motion across the solid. The large multiplicity of the sites where Li reside (1/6 occupied) accounts for the huge ionic conductivity of this promising Li-conducting material.
The results of numerical and experimental studies of high-intensity proton beam generation using a 2ω or 1ω Nd:glass laser beam irradiating a thin hydrogen-rich target are reported. The effect of the laser wavelength (λ), intensity (IL) and pulse duration as well as the target thickness, and the preplasma density gradient scale length on proton beam parameters, and the laser-protons energy conversion efficiency were examined by particle-in-cell simulations. Both the simulations and measurements, performed on the LULI 100 TW laser facility at IL up to 2 × 1019W/cm2, prove that at the ILλ2 product fixed, the 2ω laser driver can produce proton beams of intensity, current density and energy fluence significantly higher than the ones which could be achieved using the 1ω driver. In particular, at ILλ2~(0.5–1) × 1020 Wcm−2 µm2 the 2ω picosecond driver makes it possible to generate multi-MeV proton beams of intensity and current density in excess of 1021W/cm2 and 1014A/cm2, respectively, with the conversion efficiency above 10%.
Our earlier papers demonstrate a very simple method of plasma jet formation, consisting in irradiating a massive planar target of a relatively high atomic number by a partly defocused laser beam. Our present interest is concentrated on interaction of the plasma jet with other media. This paper is aimed at investigations of interaction of two jets launched successively on Cu target. Our attention was paid to the role of radiative cooling in the plasma jet formation. The experiment was carried out at the PALS iodine laser facility. The laser provided a 250-ps (full width at half maximum) pulse with energy of 130 J at the third harmonic frequency (λ3 = 0.438 µm). Two successive jets were produced on a massive flat Cu target provided with a cylindrical channel 5 mm long and 400 µm in diameter. Since the focal spot diameter of the laser beam on the target surface was larger than that of the channel (800 µm), the annular irradiation of the target face resulted in creation of the first plasma jet, whereas the second jet was produced by action of the central part of laser beam on the channel wall. Three-frame interferometric system, X-ray streak camera, and a set of ion collectors were used as diagnostic tools.
We studied changes in species distribution and antimicrobial resistance patterns of Shigella during 1980–2008, using the Diarrhoeal Diseases Surveillance system of Dhaka Hospital of ICDDR,B. In hospitalized patients Shigella prevalence decreased steadily from 8–12% in the 1980s to 3% in 2008. Endemic S. flexneri was the most commonly isolated species (54%). Epidemic S. dysenteriae type 1 had two peaks in 1984 and 1993, but was not found after 2000, except for one case in 2004. The therapeutic options are now limited: in 2008 a total of 33% of S. flexneri were resistant to ciprofloxacin and 57% to mecillinam. In the <5 years age group, severely underweight, wasted and stunted children were more at risk of shigellosis compared to well-nourished children (P<0·001). Although hospitalization for Shigella diarrhoea is decreasing, the high levels of antimicrobial resistance and increased susceptibility of malnourished children continue to pose an ongoing risk.
EURECA (European Underground Rare Event Calorimeter Array) is an
astro-particle physics facility aiming to directly detect galactic dark
matter. The Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane has been selected as host
laboratory. The EURECA collaboration unites CRESST, EDELWEISS and the
Spanish-French experiment ROSEBUD, thus concentrating and focussing effort
on cryogenic detector research in Europe into a single facility. EURECA will
use a target mass of up to one ton, enough to explore WIMP – nucleon scalar
scattering cross sections in the region of 10-9 – 10-10 picobarn.
A major advantage of EURECA is the planned use of more than just one target
material (multi target experiment for WIMP identification).
Monochromatic electrostatic waves of large amplitude were excited by the interaction of an electron beam with a bounded plasma. These waves were identified as resonant beam modes, which are amplified by multiple reflexion in a cavity. Nonlinear effects, such as the generation of harmonies and sidebands, were observed.
Angular distributions of currents and velocities (energies) of ions produced at various target irradiation angles and laser intensities ranged from 1010 W/cm2 to 1017 W/cm2 were analyzed. It was confirmed that for low laser intensities the ion current distributions are always peaked along the target normal. However, at laser intensities comparable to or higher than 1014 W/cm2, the preferred direction of ion emission strongly depends on the irradiation geometry (laser focus setting, the irradiation angle), and can be off the target normal. This is very likely caused by the non-linear interaction of the laser beam with produced plasma, in particular, by the action of ponderomotive forces and the laser beam self-focusing.