Supernova-relevant hydrodynamic instability experiments on the nova laser

J. Kane, D. Arnett, B. A. Remington, S. G. Glendinning, J. Castor, R. Wallace, A. Rubenchik, B. A. Fryxell

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69 Scopus citations


Supernova 1987A focused attention on the critical role of hydrodynamic instabilities in the evolution of supernovae. To test the modeling of these instabilities, we are developing laboratory experiments of hydrodynamic mixing under conditions relevant to supernovae. The target consists of a two-layer planar package composed of 85 mm Cu backed by 500 μm CH2, having a single-mode sinusoidal perturbation at the interface, with λ = 200 μm and ≠0 = 20 μm. The Nova Laser is used to generate a 10-15 Mbar [(10-15) × 1012 dyne cm2] shock at the interface, which triggers perturbation growth as a result of the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability, followed by the Rayleigh-Taylor instability as the interface decelerates. This resembles the hydrodynamics of the He-H interface of a Type II supernova at intermediate times, up to a few times 103 s. The experiment is modeled using the hydrodynamics codes HYADES and CALE and the supernova code PROMETHEUS. Results of the experiments and simulations are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L75-L78
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997


  • General
  • Hydrodynamics-instabilities-supernovae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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