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  1. A laser-driven shock propagating through an isolated particle embedded in a plastic (CH) target was studied using the radiation-hydrodynamic code FLASH. Preliminary simulations using IONMIX equations of state (EOS) showed significant differences in the shock Hugoniot of aluminum compared to experimental data in the low-pressure regime [ O(10) GPa], resulting in higher streamwise compression and deformation of an aluminum particle. Hence, a simple modification to the ideal gas EOS was developed and employed to describe the target materials and examine the particle dynamics. The evolution of the pressure field demonstrated a complex wave interaction, resulting in a highly unsteady particle drag which featured two drag minima due to shock focusing at the rear end of the particle and rarefaction stretching due to laser shut-off. Although ∼30% lateral expansion and ∼25% streamwise compression were observed, the aluminum particle maintained considerable integrity without significant distortion. Additional simulations examined the particle response for a range of particle densities, sizes, and acoustic impedances. The results revealed that lighter particles such as aluminum gained significant momentum, reaching up to ∼96% of the shocked CH's speed, compared to ∼29% for the heavier tungsten particles. Despite the differences seen in the early stage of shock interaction, particlesmore »with varying acoustic impedances ultimately reached the same peak velocity. This identified particle-to-host density ratio is an important factor in determining the inviscid terminal velocity of the particle. In addition, the modified EOS model presented in this study could be used to approximate solid materials in hydrocodes that lack material strength models.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. The theory of the magnetothermal instability (MTI) [D. A. Tidman and R. A. Shanny, Phys. Fluids 17, 1207 (1974)] is revisited through the lens of the stability of uniform systems. The linear stability analysis includes flow advection and Nernst transport. The instability criteria derived distinguish between the convective and the absolute nature of the perturbation growth. It is proven that, in the region where the Nernst and plasma blowoff velocities cancel, the MTI can be absolute and wave-packet perturbations grow in situ. This instability is mediated by the internal feedback between the Biermann battery and Righi–Leduc terms. The analysis is extended to derive the dispersion relation for short-wavelength perturbations developing in nonuniform profiles with the application to coronal plasmas. It is found that the condition for MTI requires the net B-field convection velocity to be small at the isothermal sonic section, and the plasma conditions in this section govern the dynamics of the instability. Analysis of hydro-equivalent implosions suggests that unstable perturbations undergo more e-foldings of growth in larger-size targets.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 23, 2023