The article “Mapping of azimuthal B-fields in Z-pinch plasmas using Z-pinch-driven ion deflectometry“ has been published in the scientific journal Physics of Plasmas, the largest journal dedicated to the field of experimental and theoretical plasma physics published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP). The article has shortly become the most-read article and was not only selected as the “Editor’s Pick” but also on the cover page of the June edition. The first author is Ing. Vojtěch Munzar, a Ph.D. student in prof. Daniel Klír’s group at the Department of Physics, FEE CTU.
The ion deflectometry is a diagnostic method for electric and magnetic field measurements in hot dense plasmas, which is otherwise difficult to access by conventional methods. High-energy ions do not scatter by the plasma; their trajectories are only deflected in these fields by the Lorentz force. A shadow of the fiducial grid, imprinted in the ion beams, deforms due to deflections of the ion trajectories. The grid distortions reveal a 2D distribution of the studied fields. The proton deflectometry has been widely used in laser-produced plasmas, but its use for analyzing the plasma of a Z-pinch (a plasma fiber) has been cumbersome. In collaboration with colleagues at the GIT-12 device in Tomsk, our research group at the Department of Physics developed an original way to accelerate the ions from within the Z-pinch itself without any laser system. It allowed us to reach the hot center of the plasma fiber with temperatures of a few million degrees Celsius and to study the profile of magnetic fields that dominantly influence the Z-pinch dynamics. As a result, we understand better the Z-pinch phenomenon that appears in many fields of physics including solar protuberances and formation of nebulae.
The research has been supported by the Czech Science Foundation, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic, and CTU.