Laser driven supersonic flow over a compressible foam surface on the Nike laser

Harding, E. C.; Drake, R. P.; Aglitskiy, Y.; Plewa, T.; Velikovich, A. L.; Gillespie, R. S.; Weaver, J. L.; Visco, A.; Grosskopf, M. J.; Ditmar, J. R.
May 2010
Physics of Plasmas;May2010, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p056310
Academic Journal
A laser driven millimeter-scale target was used to generate a supersonic shear layer in an attempt to create a Kelvin–Helmholtz (KH) unstable interface in a high-energy-density (HED) plasma. The KH instability is a fundamental fluid instability that remains unexplored in HED plasmas, which are relevant to the inertial confinement fusion and astrophysical environments. In the experiment presented here the Nike laser [S. P. Obenschain et al., Phys. Plasmas 3, 2098 (1996)] was used to create and drive Al plasma over a rippled foam surface. In response to the supersonic Al flow (Mach=2.6±1.1) shocks should form in the Al flow near the perturbations. The experimental data were used to infer the existence and location of these shocks. In addition, the interface perturbations show growth that has possible contributions from both KH and Richtmyer–Meshkov instabilities. Since compressible shear layers exhibit smaller growth, it is important to use the KH growth rate derived from the compressible dispersion relation.


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