I am a PhD student based at the York Plasma Institute, supervised by Dr. Andrew Higginbotham, focussing on x-ray diffraction at the high pressures found in Inertial Confinement Fusion experiments and in planetary cores. The project has computational component, using the molecular dynamics code LAMMPS to model release from a shock, and a experimental component aiming to study liquid diffraction.
Dynamic compression of materials using high-power laser facilities allows us to access pressures beyond those that can be generated in a diamond anvil cell. As a result, an increasing number of experiments are carried out using in situ x-ray diffraction combined with laser compression to study solid phase transitions. However, although liquid and fluid constituents typically form the bulk of larger planets, there is an absence of data on liquid structure in dynamically compressed samples. Liquid x-ray diffraction, particularly during melting, is the focus of this project, with the aim of comparing the solid and liquid diffraction at coexistence to find pressure and temperature.