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About the team

PCI Team "Hot Transient Plasmas"

Heads : Jean Larour / Sasha Chuvatin

The main topics of the PCI team are fundamental studies on magnetized plasmas and novel technological developments to create these plasmas and for applications.

The first part includes equation of state of materials and of non-ideal plasmas (warm dense matter), turbulence, MHD, anomalous transport coefficient (Hall effect) and non-linear effects in pulsed B field – plasma interaction. These phenomena appear namely in ICF plasmas, natural and magnetosphere plasmas. The second part includes the development of new schemes for concentrating the energy in space and in time (Z-pinch, X-pinch, capillary discharge, high pulsed power), applied to energy conversion into x-rays, rf and micro-waves or plasma wakefield acceleration.


The PCI are electrically driven transient environments where the charged particle dynamics is strongly influenced by the local intense magnetic field. The High Energy Density concept was introduced in the early 90’s by American and Russian groups around few large facilities. Originally motivated by very high flux x-ray generation or by ICF, this activity is strongly driven by the need to introduce an ever more complex physics in the models for intensive numerical simulation.

Mission statement

In France, the PCI team intends to be a reference lab for electrically driven hot and dense plasmas, for state institutions (DGA), academic research (CNRS) and defence centers (CEG). Worldwide, it has to comfort its position as an acknowledged partner of the major centres (Sandia, NRL, UNR, Kurchatov, HCEI).
To reach that goals, the team operates on theoretical plasma physics, on new concepts of experimental schemes, on specific instrumentation and on high pulsed power techniques.

Main topics

The PCI team addresses few key domains :
- study of the fundamental processes
in hot transient plasmas, for introducing the newest and most complete physics in models and in intensive numerical simulations : modified transport coefficients (anomalous conductivity, Hall effect), ionization processes, radiation transfer, radiative MHD (see videoclips below).
- design of novel experiments on large generators : multiwire loads, convolute for high power flow, new schemes for energy storage and switching.
- laboratory scale experiments : X-pinch, HPM, exploded wire, capillary discharge, laboratory astrophysics.
- instrumentation techniques (fast electric and optical measurements, X-ray spectroscopy, HPM) and transdisciplinary applications.

From 2012, these activities are registered in the Excellence Laboratory PLAS@PAR (Plasmas in Paris, beyond the frontiers).

PNG - 122.2 ko
From left to right : scheme of a current multiplier, Z-pinch simulation, flat multiwire array pinch, fly radiograph by X-pinch, MILO cell for HPM emission. Photos Larour and Chuvatin.

may 2017

Tutelles : CNRS Ecole Polytechnique Sorbonne Université Université Paris Sud Observatoire de Paris Convention : CEA
©2009-2019 Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas (LPP)

Mentions légales
Exploitant du site : Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique route de Saclay F-91128 PALAISEAU CEDEX
Hébergeur : Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique route de Saclay F-91128 PALAISEAU CEDEX
Directeur de la publication : Pascal Chabert (Directeur)