Preheating ablation effects on the Rayleigh-Taylor instability in the weakly nonlinear regime

Wang, L. F.; Ye, W. H.; Sheng, Z. M.; Don, Wai-Sun; Li, Y. J.; He, X. T.
December 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Dec2010, Vol. 17 Issue 12, p122706
Academic Journal
The two-dimensional Rayleigh-Taylor instability (RTI) with and without thermal conduction is investigated by numerical simulation in the weakly nonlinear regime. A preheat model κ(T)=κSH[1+f(T)] is introduced for the thermal conduction [W. H. Ye, W. Y. Zhang, and X. T. He, Phys. Rev. E 65, 057401 (2002)], where κSH is the Spitzer-Härm electron thermal conductivity coefficient and f(T) models the preheating tongue effect in the cold plasma ahead of the ablation front. The preheating ablation effects on the RTI are studied by comparing the RTI with and without thermal conduction with identical density profile relevant to inertial confinement fusion experiments. It is found that the ablation effects strongly influence the mode coupling process, especially with short perturbation wavelength. Overall, the ablation effects stabilize the RTI. First, the linear growth rate is reduced, especially for short perturbation wavelengths and a cutoff wavelength is observed in simulations. Second, the second harmonic generation is reduced for short perturbation wavelengths. Third, the third-order negative feedback to the fundamental mode is strengthened, which plays a stabilization role. Finally, on the contrary, the ablation effects increase the generation of the third harmonic when the perturbation wavelengths are long. Our simulation results indicate that, in the weakly nonlinear regime, the ablation effects are weakened as the perturbation wavelength is increased. Numerical results obtained are in general agreement with the recent weakly nonlinear theories as proposed in [J. Sanz, J. Ramírez, R. Ramis et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 195002 (2002); J. Garnier, P.-A. Raviart, C. Cherfils-Clérouin et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 185003 (2003)].


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