Characterization of Quasi-Keplerian, Differentially Rotating, Free-Boundary Laboratory Plasmas

We present results from pulsed-power driven differentially rotating plasma experiments designed to simulate physics relevant to astrophysical disks and jets. In these experiments, angular momentum is injected by the ram pressure of the ablation flows from a wire array Z pinch. In contrast to previous liquid metal and plasma experiments, rotation is not driven by boundary forces. Axial pressure gradients launch a rotating plasma jet upward, which is confined by a combination of ram, thermal, and magnetic pressure of a surrounding plasma halo. The jet has subsonic rotation, with a maximum rotation velocity 23±3km/s. The rotational velocity profile is quasi-Keplerian with a positive Rayleigh discriminant κ2r2.8±0.8rad2/s2. The plasma completes 0.5–2 full rotations in the experimental time frame (150ns).

  • Received 22 December 2021
  • Accepted 29 March 2023

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.195101

Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.

Published by the American Physical Society

Plasma Physics

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