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Investigation of Electromagnetic-Flute-Mode Instability in a High-Beta Z -Pinch Plasma

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11 Author(s)
V. I. Sotnikov ; Nevada Terawatt Facility, Nevada Univ., Reno, NV ; V. V. Ivanov ; T. E. Cowan ; J. G. Leboeuf
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Recent experiments (laser multiframe shadowgraphy and Faraday rotation diagnostics) with Al imploding wire arrays in the 1-MA "Zebra" accelerator at the Nevada Terawatt Facility have demonstrated that a significant amount of current is going through the central region of the high-beta precursor plasma. With time, the perturbations develop both long scale structures and short-wavelength oscillations in the directions perpendicular to the magnetic field. The most likely candidate for the observed phenomena is the flutelike electromagnetic modes. These are excited in the current-carrying high-beta inhomogeneous precursor plasma due to the curvature of the magnetic field produced by the current. These modes may also play a role in the stagnation phase of Z-pinches. In this paper, nonlinear equations describing electromagnetic-flute-type oscillations in the high-beta precursor plasma are derived, and the linear stage of instability of these waves is examined. A comparison with the experimental results is performed as well

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IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 5 )