Nonlinear Rayleigh–Taylor instabilities in fast Z pinches

Miles, Aaron R.
March 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2009, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p032702
Academic Journal
A simplified analytic model is presented to describe the implosion of a plasma column by an azimuthal magnetic field of sufficient magnitude to drive a strong shock wave into the plasma. This model is employed together with buoyancy-drag-based models of nonlinear single-mode and turbulent multimode Rayleigh–Taylor growth to investigate the mixing process in such fast Z pinches. These models give predictions that characterize limitations the instability can impose on the implosion in terms of maximum convergence ratios attainable for an axially coherent pinch. Both the implosion and instability models are validated with results from high-resolution numerical simulations.


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