About PLS

Transport and Mixing in Dense Plasmas


Dense plasma systems occur in stellar interiors, giant planets and inertial confined fusion (ICF). Because of the extreme conditions of the plasmas and their remoteness (for the astrophysical examples) or their short lifetime (in ICF), there is still much that is poorly understood about their behavior. Transport properties are of particular interest because of their role in the plasma dynamics, including diffusivity, viscosity, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. Traditional theoretical approaches rely on weak-coupling approximations, and often end up with poorly defined cutoffs for the singular Coulomb interactions. We are using classical molecular dynamics (MD) based on effective interactions between the ions to simulate transport processes such as the diffusion process shown in the movie in the figure.

  • Large-scale molecular dynamics simulations in strongly coupled, dense plasmas and molten metals to calculate diffusivity and viscosity. Extremely large-scale MD has been used for direct simulation of mixing.
  • Recent result: MD-derived diffusivity and viscosity models for metal alloys that spans pressures 0-100 GPa and temperature up to 6000K.
  • People: Haxhimali, Rudd, Caspersen, Cabot, Greenough, Miller, Schwegler, Whitley