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Counter-propagating radiative shock experiments on the Orion laser and the formation of radiative precursors

Abstract : We present results from new experiments to study the dynamics of radiative shocks, reverse shocks and radiative precursors. Laser ablation of a solid piston by the Orion high-power laser at AWE Aldermaston UK was used to drive radiative shocks into a gas cell initially pressurised between 0.1 and 1.0 bar with different noble gases. Shocks propagated at 80 ± 10 km/s and experienced strong radiative cooling resulting in post-shock compressions of × 25 ± 2. A combination of X-ray backlighting, optical self-emission streak imaging and interferometry (multi-frame and streak imaging) were used to simultaneously study both the shock front and the radiative precursor. These experiments present a new configuration to produce counter-propagating radiative shocks, allowing for the study of reverse shocks and providing a unique platform for numerical validation. In addition, the radiative shocks were able to expand freely into a large gas volume without being confined by the walls of the gas cell. This allows for 3-D effects of the shocks to be studied which, in principle, could lead to a more direct comparison to astrophysical phenomena. By maintaining a constant mass density between different gas fills the shocks evolved with similar hydrodynamics but the radiative precursor was found to extend significantly further in higher atomic number gases (∼ 4 times further in xenon than neon). Finally, 1-D and 2-D radiative-hydrodynamic simulations are presented showing good agreement with the experimental data.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01895608
Contributor : Rodrigue Piberne <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 15, 2018 - 12:42:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 3:40:20 AM

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Thomas Clayson, Francisco Suzuki-Vidal, S. V. Lebedev, G. F. Swadling, Chantal Stehlé, et al.. Counter-propagating radiative shock experiments on the Orion laser and the formation of radiative precursors. High Energy Density Physics, Elsevier, 2017, 23, pp.60-72. ⟨10.1016/j.hedp.2017.03.002⟩. ⟨hal-01895608⟩

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