- Conference date: 19-22 March, 2007
- Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland (USA)
Accurate phase diagrams for simple molecular fluids and solids (H2, He, H2O, SiO2, and C) and their constituent elements at eV temperatures and pressures up to tens of Mbar are integral to planetary models of the gas giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune), and the rocky planets. Laboratory experiments at high pressure have, until recently, been limited to around 1 Mbar. These pressures are usually achieved dynamically with explosives and two‐stage light‐gas guns, or statically with diamond anvil cells. Current and future high energy laser and pulsed power facilities will be able to produce tens of Mbar pressures in these light element materials. This presentation will describe the capabilities available at current high energy laser facilities to achieve these extreme conditions, and focus on several examples including water, silica, diamond‐phase‐carbon, helium and hydrogen. Under strong shock compression all of these materials become electronic conductors, and are transformed eventually to dense plasmas. The experiments reveal some details of the nature of this transition. To obtain high pressure data closer to planetary isentropes advanced compression techniques are required. We are developing a promising technique to achieve higher density states: precompression of samples in a static diamond anvil cell followed by laser driven shock compression. This technique and results from the first experiments with it will be described. Details about this topic can be found in some of our previous publications.
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