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Theoretical and experimental investigation of the equation of state of boron plasmas.

Abstract

We report a theoretical equation of state (EOS) table for boron across a wide range of temperatures (5.1×10^{4}-5.2×10^{8} K) and densities (0.25-49 g/cm^{3}) and experimental shock Hugoniot data at unprecedented high pressures (5608±118 GPa). The calculations are performed with first-principles methods combining path-integral Monte Carlo (PIMC) at high temperatures and density-functional-theory molecular-dynamics (DFT-MD) methods at lower temperatures. PIMC and DFT-MD cross-validate each other by providing coherent EOS (difference <1.5 Hartree/boron in energy and <5% in pressure) at 5.1×10^{5} K. The Hugoniot measurement is conducted at the National Ignition Facility using a planar shock platform. The pressure-density relation found in our shock experiment is on top of the shock Hugoniot profile predicted with our first-principles EOS and a semiempirical EOS table (LEOS 50). We investigate the self-diffusivity and the effect of thermal and pressure-driven ionization on the EOS and shock compression behavior in high-pressure and -temperature conditions. We also study the sensitivity of a polar direct-drive exploding pusher platform to pressure variations based on applying pressure multipliers to LEOS 50 and by utilizing a new EOS model based on our ab initio simulations via one-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamic calculations. The results are valuable for future theoretical and experimental studies and engineering design in high-energy density research.

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