Richtmyer-Meshkov Experiments on the Omega Laser
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Observations of the interstellar medium reveal a dynamic realm permeated by shocks. These shocks are generated on a large range of scales by galactic rotation, supernovae, stellar winds, and other processes. Whenever a shock encounters a density interface, Richtmyer-Meshkov instabilities may develop. Perturbations along the interface grow, leading to structure formation and material mixing. An understanding of the evolution of Richtmyer-Meshkov instabilities is essential for understanding galactic structure, molecular cloud morphology, and the early stages of star formation. An ongoing experimental campaign studies Richtmyer-Meshkov mixing in a convergent, compressible, miscible plasma at the Omega laser facility. Cylindrical targets, consisting of a low density foam core and an aluminum shell covered by an epoxy ablator, are directly driven by fifty laser beams. The aluminum shell is machined to produce different perturbation spectra. Surface types include unperturbed (smooth), single-mode sinusoids, multi-mode (rough), and multi-mode with particular modes accentuated (specified-rough). Experimental results are compared to theory and numerical simulations.
KeywordsHEDLA hydrodynamics instabilities
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