Openings - Warm Dense Matter
Master Thesis Project: Optimized samples for probing physical processes deep inside giant planets
Start: as soon as possible.
Deep inside giant planets, pressures above 1 Mbar and temperatures of several 1000 kelvins result in complex physical processes that, up to now, are poorly understood. We perform experiments with powerful optical lasers in combination with X-ray free electron lasers, such as the Linac Coherent Light Source in the U.S., SACLA at SPring-8 in Japan or, very soon, at the European XFEL in Hamburg. In these experiments, sample materials are required that can mimic the deep interiors of giant planets. For icy giant planets, it seems advantageous to start with liquid mixtures consisting of water, methane and ammonia. These samples are then compressed and heated with high energy laser systems and probed with bright X-ray pulses from X-ray free electron lasers.
Within the thesis project, a liquid sample concept modelling Uranus, Neptune and some comparable exoplanets should be developed and realized. Radiation hydrodynamics simulations will be used to find optimal sample concepts and the reponse to intense laser irradiation can be tested at the modern laser infrastructure of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. If successful, a corresponding experiment at an X-ray free electron laser is envisioned.
Contact: Dominik Kraus