Sandia Tech Talk

Wednesday, February 01, 2017
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
RLM 5.124
Free and open to ECE Grad + Undergrad

The Sandia Z Machine

An overview of the world’s most powerful pulsed power facility

The Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories is the world’s most powerful pulsed power facility.  It uses high magnetic fields associated with high electrical currents (up to 28 MA) to produce high temperatures (~10s of millions of degrees), high pressures (~100s of Megabars), and powerful x-rays (> 300 TW) for conducting research in High Energy Density science (HED), Radiation Effects Science (RES) and Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF).  To enable such activities, the Z Machine is continually being improved both from an operational perspective and from a capability perspective.  These improvements include greater use of web-based applications for configuration and information management, development and incorporation of engineered safety systems, pulsed power system upgrades, increased B-field capabilities, increased ZBL laser output, and novel experimental platforms coupled to the development and fielding of new optical, x-ray and neutron diagnostics.  An overview of present Z Machine capabilities will be given along with planned upgrades and advances in the context of current scientific and programmatic drivers.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

TechTalk_Z_Facility (003).pdf

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Joel S. Lash, PhD

Senior Manager, R&D Science and Engineering
Sandia National Laboratories

As Senior Manager of the Z Facility Research and Development Group at Sandia National Laboratories, Dr. Lash is responsible for the operation and engineering of the Sandia Z Machine which is the world’s most powerful pulsed power facility. In addition, Dr. Lash is responsible for the Z Machine diagnostic research, development and fielding. The Z Machine is a unique, world-class R&D facility that uses massive electrical currents of up 26 MA to produce high temperatures, high pressures, and powerful x-rays for research in High Energy Density which is a critical element of science based stockpile stewardship.

Dr. Lash joined Sandia’s Pulsed Power Sciences Center in May 1996 to develop and field advanced plasma diagnostics for the Ion Beam Fusion Program and for Sandia’s development of high-intensity radiographic x-ray sources. In 1998, Dr. Lash became part of the High Energy Density Physics program, where he developed ignition and high-yield Inertial Confinement Fusion target designs utilizing Z-pinch pulsed power drivers.

Dr. Lash earned his Ph. D. and M. S. in Nuclear Science from The University of Michigan and his B. S. in Mathematics with emphasis in Physics and Computer Science from Indiana University.