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The main objective of the experimental plasma physics activities at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) is the interaction processes of heavy ions with dense ionized matter. Gas discharge plasma targets were used for energy loss and charge state measurements in a regime of electron density and temperature up to 1019 cm-3 and 20 eV, respectively. Progress has been achieved in the understanding of charge-exchange processes in fully ionized hydrogen plasma. An improved model taking excitation-autoionization processes into account has removed most of the discrepancies of previous theoretical descriptions. Furthermore, it was found that the energy loss of the ion beam serves as an excellent diagnostic tool for measuring the electron density in partially ionized plasmas such as argon. The experience with these methods will be used in the future to diagnose dense laser produced plasmas. A setup with a 100 J/5 GW Nd:glass laser, currently under construction, will provide access to density range up to 1021 cm-3 and temperatures of more than 100 eV. To reach electron densities near solid-state density (1023 cm-3), heavy ion heated frozen rare gas crystals were used. The first hydrodynamic motion of ion heated solid material was observed. Vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) spectroscopy was applied to diagnose these strongly coupled nonideal plasmas.
An intense and focused heavy ion beam is a suitable tool to generate
high energy density in matter. To compare results with simulations it is
essential to know beam parameters as intensity, longitudinal, and
transversal profile at the focal plane. Since the beam's energy
deposition will melt and evaporate even tungsten, non-intercepting
diagnostics are required. Therefore a capacitive pickup with high
resolution in both time and space was designed, built and tested at the
high temperature experimental area at GSI. Additionally a beam induced
fluorescence monitor was investigated for the synchrotron's (SIS-18)
energy-regime (60–750 AMeV) and successfully tested in a
At Pulkovo Observatory, we conduct observations of various Solar System bodies: major planets, their satellites, comets, and asteroids, including Near Earth Objects. For these purposes, a robotic telescope was constructed on the base of the ZA–320 Mirror Astrograph (D=320 mm, F=3200 mm). It can perform CCD observations of Solar System bodies with the limiting magnitude of up to 19.0.
Independent ephemeris support is provided by the EPOS software package developed at Pulkovo Observatory; it includes tracing of catalogues of comets and asteroids, regular ephemeris calculations, and control of observations. CCD frame processing is done by the Apex automatic data reduction package developed at Pulkovo Observatory.
In 2001-2006, more than 12000 observations of minor Solar System bodies were collected, including more than 6000 positions of 656 NEAs, about 1200 observations of 27 comets, and about 2000 observations of major planets satellites. The mean accuracy of obtained positions is 0″.09−0″.40. Results of observations are regularly submitted to the Minor Planet Center.
Currently, ZA–320M is the 16-th of more than 680 telescopes in the worldwide rating of those that observe NEAs (by the number of observations).
In the near future, our group is planning to start observations with another two robotic telescopes: MTM–500 (D=500 mm, F=4000 mm Maksutov) and 1-meter telescope (D=1000 mm, F=1200 mm) of the Pulkovo mountain station at Northern Caucasus (Kislovodsk, 2100 m above sea level). These two instruments will allow to increase the number of observations, their accuracy, and limiting magnitude (up to 20.5 mag).
The hydrodynamic response of metal targets to volume
heating by energy deposition of intense heavy-ion beams
was investigated experimentally. Recent improvements in
beam parameters led to a marked increase in specific deposition
ions of 300 MeV/u focused to a spot size of 300 μm
(σ) × 540 μm (σ) yield a specific deposition
energy in solid lead of approximately 1 kJ/g in the Bragg
peak, delivered within 250 ns [full width at half
maximum (FWHM)]. This value allowed us for the first
time to observe heavy-ion-beam-induced hydrodynamic expansion
of metal volume targets. Measurements comprise expansion
velocities of free surfaces of up to 290 ± 20 m/s,
surface temperatures of ejected target matter of 1600–1750
K, and pressure waves in solid metal bulk targets of 0.16
GPa maximum absolute value and 0.8 μs FWHM. The experimental
results agree well with the results of a 2D hydrodynamic
code. Inside the interaction zone, which can only be accessed
by simulation, maximum temperatures are 2800 K and maximum
pressures are 3.8 GPa.
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