High-Energy-Density, Laboratory-Astrophysics Studies of Jets and Bow Shocks

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Large-scale directional outflows of supersonic plasma, also known as ''jets'', are ubiquitous phenomena in astrophysics [1]. The interaction of such jets with surrounding matter often results in spectacular bow shocks, and intense radiation from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. The traditional approach to understanding such phenomena is through theoretical analysis and numerical simulations. However, such numerical simulations have limited resolution, often assume axial symmetry, do not include all relevant physical processes, and fail to scale correctly in Reynolds number and perhaps other key dimensionless parameters. Additionally, they are frequently not tested by comparison with laboratory experiments. Recent advances in high-energy-density physics ... continued below

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Foster, J M; Wilde, B H; Rosen, P A; Perry, T S; Khokhlov, A M; Coker, R F et al. January 24, 2005.

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Large-scale directional outflows of supersonic plasma, also known as ''jets'', are ubiquitous phenomena in astrophysics [1]. The interaction of such jets with surrounding matter often results in spectacular bow shocks, and intense radiation from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. The traditional approach to understanding such phenomena is through theoretical analysis and numerical simulations. However, such numerical simulations have limited resolution, often assume axial symmetry, do not include all relevant physical processes, and fail to scale correctly in Reynolds number and perhaps other key dimensionless parameters. Additionally, they are frequently not tested by comparison with laboratory experiments. Recent advances in high-energy-density physics using large inertial-confinement-fusion devices now allow controlled laboratory experiments on macroscopic volumes of plasma of direct relevance relevant to astrophysics [2]. In this Letter we report the first results of experiments designed to study the evolution of supersonic plasma jets and the bow shocks they drive into a surrounding medium. Our experiments reveal both regular and highly complex flow patterns in the bow shock, thus opening a new window--complementary to computer simulations--into understanding the nature of three-dimensional astrophysical jets.

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PDF-file: 15 pages; size: 0.8 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 634

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-209233
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 875922
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc879035

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 24, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 7:29 p.m.

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Foster, J M; Wilde, B H; Rosen, P A; Perry, T S; Khokhlov, A M; Coker, R F et al. High-Energy-Density, Laboratory-Astrophysics Studies of Jets and Bow Shocks, article, January 24, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc879035/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.