Scott Wilks

Scott Wilks
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Scott Wilks

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Physics - Plasma Physics (4)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)
Physics - Optics (1)

Publications Authored By Scott Wilks

The interaction of petawatt ($10^{15}\ \mathrm{W}$) lasers with solid matter forms the basis for advanced scientific applications such as table-top particle accelerators, ultrafast imaging systems and laser fusion. Key metrics for these applications relate to absorption, yet conditions in this regime are so nonlinear that it is often impossible to know the fraction of absorbed light $f$, and even the range of $f$ is unknown. Here using a relativistic Rankine-Hugoniot-like analysis, we show for the first time that $f$ exhibits a theoretical maximum and minimum. Read More

The potential for laser-produced plasmas to yield fundamental insights into high energy density physics (HEDP) and deliver other useful applications can sometimes be frustrated by uncertainties in modeling the properties and expansion of these plasmas using radiation-hydrodynamics codes. In an effort to overcome this and to corroborate the accuracy of the HEDP capabilities recently added to the publicly available FLASH radiation-hydrodynamics code, we present detailed comparisons of FLASH results to new and previously published results from the HYDRA code used extensively at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. We focus on two very different problems of interest: (1) an Aluminum slab irradiated by 15. Read More

The plasma analog of an adiabatic lapse rate (or temperature variation with height) in atmospheric physics is obtained. A new source of plasma temperature gradient in a binary ion species mixture is found that is proportional to the concentration gradient and difference in average ionization states . Application to inertial-confinement-fusion implosions indicates a potentially strong effect in plastic (CH) ablators that is not modeled with mainline (single-fluid) simulations. Read More

We report simulation results of pair production by ultra-intense lasers irradiating a gold target using the GEANT4 Monte-Carlo code. Certain experimental features of the positron and electron energy spectra are reproduced, as well as trends with regard to target thickness and hot electron temperature Te. For Te in the range 5-10 MeV, the optimal target thickness for pair production is found to be about 3 mm. Read More