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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

JC: Stefan: Study of high Mach number laser driven blast waves in gases

A series of experiments were performed examining the evolution of blast waves produced by laser irradiation of a target immersed in gas. Blast waves were produced by illumination of wires by 1 kJ, 1 ns laser pulses from the Z-Beamlet laser at Sandia National Laboratories. The blast waves were imaged by probe laser pulses at various times to examine the trajectory, radiative precursor, and induced perturbations on the blast wave front. Well de.ned perturbations were induced on the blast wave front with arrays of wires placed in the gas and the results of the experiments are compared to the theoretical predictions for the Vishniac overstability. It is found that the experimental results are in general agreement with these theoretical predictions on thin blast wave shells and are in quantitative agreement in the simplest case.