Rachael Agnew

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Jason T. Cassibry

Committee Member

Kunning Xu

Committee Member

Gang Wang


Pinch effect (Physics), Plasma (Ionized gases), Controlled fusion, Fusion reactions


The objective was to build a model which could be used to estimate neutron yield in pulsed z-pinch experiments, benchmark future z-pinch simulation tools and to assist scaling for breakeven systems. To accomplish this, a recent solution to the magnetic Noh problem was utilized which incorporates a self-similar solution with cylindrical symmetry and azimuthal magnetic field (Velikovich, 2012). The self-similar solution provides the conditions needed to calculate the time dependent implosion dynamics from which batch burn is assumed and used to calculate neutron yield. The solution to the model is presented. The ion densities and time scales fix the initial mass and implosion velocity, providing estimates of the experimental results given specific initial conditions. Agreement is shown with experimental data (Coverdale, 2007). A parameter sweep was done to find the neutron yield, implosion velocity and gain for a range of densities and time scales for DD reactions and a curve fit was done to predict the scaling as a function of preshock conditions.



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