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Author Harding, Eric C
Title Observations of shear flows in high-energy-density plasmas
book jacket
Descript 130 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 71-11, Section: B, page:
Adviser: R. Paul Drake
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Michigan, 2010
The research discussed in this thesis represents work toward the demonstration of experimental designs for creating a Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) unstable shear layer in a high-energy-density (HED) plasma. Such plasmas are formed by irradiating materials with several kilo-Joules of laser light over a few nanoseconds, and are defined as having an internal pressure greater than one-million atmospheres. Similar plasmas exist in laboratory fusion experiments and in the astrophysical environment. The KH instability is a fundamental fluid instability that arises when strong velocity gradients exist at the interface between two fluids. The KH instability is important because it drives the mixing of fluids and initiates the transition to turbulence in the flow. Until now, the evolution of the KH instability has remained relatively unexplored in the HED regime This thesis presents the observations and analysis of two novel experiments carried out using two separate laser facilities. The first experiment used 1.4 kJ from the Nike laser to generate a supersonic flow of Al plasma over a low-density, rippled foam surface. The Al flow interacted with the foam and created distinct features that resulted from compressible effects. In this experiment there is little evidence of the KH instability. Nevertheless, this experimental design has perhaps pioneered a new method for generating a supersonic shear flow that has the potential to produce the KH instability if more laser energy is applied. The second experiment was performed on the Omega laser. In this case 4.3 kJ of laser energy drove a blast wave along a rippled foam/plastic interface. In response to the vorticity deposited and the shear flow established by the blast wave, the interface rolls up into large vorticies characteristic of the KH instability. The Omega experiment was the first HED experiment to capture the evolution of the KH instability
School code: 0127
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 71-11B
Subject Engineering, Aerospace
Physics, High Temperature
Physics, Fluid and Plasma
Alt Author University of Michigan
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