a1 U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20375–5000
Large (megagauss) “spontaneous” magnetic fields are produced by laser–plasma interactions when a short, powerful laser pulse is focused to a small diameter onto a solid target. The relevance of these magnetic fields to inertial confinement fusion applications depends on the numerous ways in which they can affect laser–plasma interactions and the resulting plasma. Theoretical studies have dealt with a variety (thermal, radiative, and dynamo) of generation mechanisms and with the associated transport and instability phenomena. The fields, originally observed with small induction probes placed near the target, have been studied in the focal region by optical methods. These optical diagnostics have used Faraday rotation of a probing laser beam and Zeeman profiles of emitted spectral lines.
(Received July 03 1990)