Measurement of magnetic cavitation driven by heat flow in a plasma

Christopher Arran, Adam Dearling, Philip Bradford, George S. Hicks, Saleh Al-Atabi, Luca Antonelli, Oliver C. Ettlinger, Matthew Khan, Martin P. Read, Kevin Glize, Margaret Notley, Christopher A. Walsh, Robert J. Kingham, Zulfikar Najmudin, Christopher P. Ridgers, Nigel C. Woolsey

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We describe the direct measurement of the expulsion of a magnetic field from a plasma driven by heat flow. Using a laser to heat a column of gas within an applied magnetic field, we isolate Nernst advection and show how it changes the field over a nanosecond timescale. Reconstruction of the magnetic field map from proton radiographs demonstrates that the field is advected by heat flow in advance of the plasma expansion with a velocity v_N=(6±2)×10^5  m/s. Kinetic and extended magnetohydrodynamic simulations agree well in this regime due to the buildup of a magnetic transport barrier.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015101
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

5 pages, 4 figures


  • physics.plasm-ph

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