Evolution of the electrically exploding wire observed with a Mach–Zehnder interferometer

Zhiguo Mao; Xiaobing Zou; Xinxin Wang; Weihua Jiang
May 2009
Applied Physics Letters;5/4/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 18, p181501
Academic Journal
The evolution of an exploding titanium wire embedded in 10 kPa air was studied with Mach–Zehnder interferometry. The exploding wire is characterized by a central dense core as well as the surrounding plasma and a rapidly expanding gas shell. Based on the fringe shifts, the electron density of the plasma and the increased density in the gas shell were calculated to be about 1.94×1018/cm3 and 4.78×10-4 g/cm3, respectively. The expanding speed of the gas shell is about 2.28 km/s. A thermal expansion lag of the dense vapor core and two-phase vaporization of the wire were observed. Due to the wire exploding in “under heat” mode, the first phase of the vaporization is by the Joule heating and the second one by the plasma heating.


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