AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 64. Laboratory Astrophysics
Display, Wednesday, June 6, 2001, 10:00am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[64.04] Development of a Laboratory Laser-Driven Radiative Blast Wave Experiment Relevant to Astrophsyics

T. Ditmire (University of Texas), M. J. Edwards, A. J. MacKinnon, J. Zweiback, D. Ryutov, B. A. Remington (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), K. Shigemori (Osaka University), K. A. Keilty, E. Liang (Rice University)

We have undertaken an experimental campaign to assess the possibiluty of creating astrophysically relevant radiative blast waves in the laboratory. Exploiting the large energy absorption efficiency of intense ultrafast laser pulses in gases of atomic clusters we have conducted a series of experiments on high Mach number shocks in low density gas (< 10 19 atoms/cm 3). We have produced cylindrical blast waves in these clustering gases and have diagnosed their evolution through a variety of optical probing techniques. We find that it is possible to produce conditions in which radiative effects become important including regimes in which a UV precursor is formed ahead of the blast wave front and situations in which the blast wave trajectory deviates significantly from the classical, Taylor-Sedov predictions. Our experiments agree well with radiative hydrodynamics modeling, confirming the importance of radiative as well as electron heat conduction in the blast wave evolution dynamics. We will also consider the growth of Vishniac-type overstabilities in our experiments.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tditmire@physics.utexas.edu

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