Three-dimensional blast-wave-driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability and the effects of long-wavelength modes

C. C. Kuranz, R. P. Drake, M. J. Grosskopf, A. Budde, C. Krauland, D. C. Marion, A. J. Visco, J. R. Ditmar, H. F. Robey, B. A. Remington, A. R. Miles, A. B.R. Cooper, C. Sorce, T. Plewa, N. C. Hearn, K. L. Killebrew, J. P. Knauer, D. Arnett, T. Donajkowski

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35 Scopus citations


This paper describes experiments exploring the three-dimensional (3D) Rayleigh-Taylor instability at a blast-wave-driven interface. This experiment is well scaled to the He/H interface during the explosion phase of SN1987A. In lhe experiments, ∼5 kJ of energy from the Omega laser was used to create a planar blast wave in a plastic disk, which is accelerated into a lower-density foam. These circumstances induce the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability and, after the shock passes the interface, the system quickly becomes dominated by the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. The plastic disk has an intentional pattern machined at the plastic/foam interface. This perturbation is 3D with a basic structure of two orthogonal sine waves with a wavelength of 71 μm and an amplitude of 2.5 μm. Additional long-wavelength modes with a wavelength of either 212 or 424 μm are added onto the single-mode pattern. The addition of the long-wavelength modes was motivated by the results of previous experiments where material penetrated unexpectedly to the shock front, perhaps due to an unintended structure. The current experiments and simulations were performed to explore the effects of this unintended structure: however, we were unable to reproduce the previous results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046301
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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