Generation of photoionized plasmas in the laboratory: Analogues to astrophysical sources

S. White, R. Irwin, R. Warwick, G. Sarri, G. F. Gribakin, F. P. Keenan, E. Hill, S. J. Rose, G. J. Ferland, F. Wang, G. Zhao, B. Han, D. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implementation of a novel experimental approach using a bright source of narrowband X-ray emission has enabled the production of a photoionized argon plasma of relevance to astrophysical modelling codes such as Cloudy. We present results showing that the photoionization parameter ζ = 4ÏF/ne generated using the VULCAN laser was ≈ 50 erg cm s-1, higher than those obtained previously with more powerful facilities. Comparison of our argon emission-line spectra in the 4.15-4.25 Å range at varying initial gas pressures with predictions from the Cloudy code and a simple time-dependent code are also presented. Finally we briefly discuss how this proof-of-principle experiment may be scaled to larger facilities such as ORION to produce the closest laboratory analogue to a photoionized plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-325
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© International Astronomical Union 2020.


  • Lab Astro
  • Photoionization
  • Plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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